Mom creates bed, business for special-needs families

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Rose Morris is a mom-preneur on a mission. She turned her family’s sleep struggles and worries into a business aimed at helping other families who live with autism and other special needs.

“It wasn’t born to be a business,” Morris said. “It was designed to have a meaningful impact.”

Morris was visiting San Antonio from Pittsburgh to attend a convention focused on innovative products that help people with disabilities and special needs.

Morris’ business is personal. Her son, Abram, is on the autism spectrum. As a toddler, he wandered at night, posing a danger and leading to sleepless nights and worry for his parents.

“We came up with this idea that, as he grew, he’s going to need something to enclose him so he’s not spinning around and hitting the walls and hitting the window,” she said.

Ten years ago, and with the help of some friends, Morris came up with a solution now called the Safety Sleeper. It’s a portable, enclosed bed that closes out distractions that serve to stimulate. For Morris and her family, it changed everything.

“He went to sleep sooner. He slept longer. He slept sounder,” she said.  “Being able to have that peace of mind, it’s priceless.”

Morris said she wanted to share her peace of mind with other special needs families. She launched a crude website and tiny basement business called Abram’s Nation.

The business has grown over the years to 14 employees and a manufacturing facility.

“There’s not a traditional business model where we are forecasting and trying to hit profit margins,” Morris said. “It’s not like that. It’s one more family is good.”

Morris’ own experience has inspired more products such as Fidget Folders, which are sensory therapy tools designed to help with everything from communicating to buttoning a shirt.

At the request of other families, Morris came up with a product called the Weight Mate, which is used to calm and comfort children.

“Weighted items are so beneficial,” Morris said. “Imagine you have a devastating incident happen. What do you want? You want a hug.”

Morris' next innovation is a wheelchair poncho, which was inspired by a trip where she saw people with their coats on backward.

“It just didn’t look dignified,” she said.

The rain or fleece ponchos are designed to be easily worn, cover electronics and do not get caught in wheels.

Morris said she hopes to be a resource for people struggling with manage special needs. She’s up for finding solutions whenever she can.

The products have global reach and have been sold in 16 countries. But, the way Morris sees it, it’s about helping one family at a time and make their lives a little easier.

“I wouldn’t say I was blessed with autism, but I would say God’s plan is so much bigger than mine," she said.

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