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Helping Kids with Autism Wear Face Masks
There’s no doubt that wearing masks has become a hot topic and regardless of your position, this is going to affect your child with special needs. Going out and seeing people with masks on can be unsettling and wearing a face mask can be especially challenging for children with sensory sensitivities. With stores, malls, doctors’ offices, schools, and more requiring that employees and visitors wear masks, there is a chance that your child will need to adjust to this new reality due to Covid-19.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has recommended that everyone over the age of 2 years old who doesn’t have trouble breathing should wear a face mask in public settings where social distancing is difficult. With the disease being spread by people who don’t know they’re infected, this helps to slow the spread of the Coronavirus by those who have no symptoms. Masks are primarily worn to protect others from you, in case you’re infected and don’t know it. The disease is highly contagious and symptoms take a while to appear. Several studies have shown that people are most contagious 2 days before showing any symptoms. There is a dispute about whether those who are asymptomatic (people infected who will never show symptoms) can spread the disease, but it is clear that those who are pre-symptomatic are the main cause of Covid-19 spreading.
If your child needs to wear a face mask, we’ve put together some tips to help with the process. Here’s a cute video created by the easterseals of Chicago.
Tips To Help Children with Autism Wear a Mask
Social Stories are a sequence of pictures and sentences that help introduce new experiences to children with autism. If you haven’t used social stories before it is important to note that some children respond better to simple instructions and others require extremely detailed explanations. There are several stories on YouTube or you can use this one from ASERT.
Use an object or family member that your child loves to show them how the mask is worn. You can use a pet, stuffed animal, doll, or even a balloon or ball with a face drawn on it.
Let Them Choose
Provide a selection of face masks with different designs and made from different fabrics and materials and let them choose the one they prefer.
Ease Into It
Practice wearing the mask in short intervals and set up a reward system for successful wearing. Make your first outing with a mask fun and go somewhere that’s quiet and not crowded.
Don’t Force It
If you’re finding that wearing a face mask is too uncomfortable and too stressful, don’t force it. You can usually get a doctor’s note to excuse them from wearing a mask. For those with extreme sensitivities or other special needs, this may be the best option.
Safety at School
AngelSense GPS Tracker for Kids provides additional safety during these unique times. We have found that our children with autism have displayed uncharacteristic behaviors as a result of the added anxiety and stress that today’s changes have brought. Going back to school for summer session or even in the fall, will likely be a more difficult transition than usual. They’ve been out of school and have had limited social interaction during the quarantine. This added to the fact that the school they return to may look different and routines may change, could cause behavioral issues that put your child’s safety at risk.
Don’t take a chance. Get peace of mind and ensure that your child is safe with the best GPS tracker for special needs. The advanced GPS ensures accurate and reliable location monitoring and several safety features help to make the transition back to school smoother and safer. For a limited time, we are offering the AngelSense Device for FREE with the purchase of our monthly or annual service plan. Learn More>>