Tips to Help Children with Autism Wear Face Masks

Many institutions require face mask-sporting, and it’s likely going to be a part of ordinary existence for a while. If you aren’t sure where first of all, your very own infant – or if your youngster’s first strive at wearing a mask did no longer become in addition to what you were hoping – we are here to help you thru it with nine tips for mothers and fathers as they embark on this new project with their children.

Approach masks-carrying as a series of goals.

Remember, this is a new talent in your toddler and may not occur in one day. Give yourself and your infant time to habit it, and do not pressure it on the multi-function sitting. Your intention for the first advent must be to make the enjoy first-rate, if not totally a hit. It also can assist in interacting with your infant’s remedy group to paint in the direction of this larger aim collectively.

Explain why masks are vital.

COVID-19 isn’t the best subject to discuss with children, but talking to them about why we must do certain cases can ease their anxieties around the new tasks. How parents ought to a method, this conversation relies upon the child’s developmental age and expertise. If your child won’t be capable of holding close to the details, it is ok to bypass this step. In easy phrases, explain that many people are sick proper now. However, wearing masks can protect them from germs and keep everyone safe. Some exceptional assets are available to help with this discussion, along with the downloadable “Task of the Mask” story, interest pamphlet from Conscious Discipline, and several mask-related social tales from Autism Little Learners.

Normalize wearing a mask with the aid of modeling it.

The extra youngsters see a person sporting a mask, the additional at ease they’ll turn out to be with it. Parents and siblings should display off their masks in front of the kid. It might also assist in inviting family and buddies to send pictures sporting face coverings. 

Make it amusing by developing masks for stuffed animals and dolls, integrating masks inside a recreation of getting dress-up, or designing masks inside a coloring e-book, which is also from Autism Little Learners.

Give your infant choices.

Increasing independence is one of the essential desires at the back of the ABA remedy. Teaching an infant to wear a mask isn’t any exception. To decrease their stress around sporting a mask, deliver them a few manipulate, and make it a laugh (of direction!), permit your toddler to pick out the print or cloth for the mask. 

By now, there are many options with everything from do-it-yourself styles on Pinterest to individual alternatives from the Disney Store. Multilayered cloth masks are considered the most superficial. However, neck gaiters, bandanas, and disposable paper masks – which youngsters can decorate – also are desirable alternatives.

Consider the challenges.

No one type of face-overlaying is first-class for every toddler, so recall your toddler’s preferences and demanding situations while asking them to wear a mask. For example, a baby who dislikes the feeling of headphones can also dislike having loops around their ears. Instead, recall a mask that ties behind the head, a neck gaiter, or a headband that might pull up and down from their neck. Other add-ons like glasses can upload any additional layer to paintings round.

Make masks to have.

Please don’t leave the mask locked away until they’re equipped to apply. Keep them out in a visible area on your baby to look and pick out if favored. Please give them a choice to attempt one at any time to make them extra secure with the concept.

Use reinforcers.

Various kinds of reinforcement are helpful at some stages in exercise and natural lifestyles. Your toddler’s remedy issuer allows you to implement them powerfully. A BCBA can provide education on how to establish motivation and use contingency-based interventions, in addition, to providing a list of potential reinforcers that could create an exchange in conduct.

Examples include permitting your infant to observe TV or use a video or game tool while wearing the mask, which could offer a few distractions to increase the duration of wear. You can also provide rewards like unique treats or favored sports if your toddler wears the face-overlaying for a positive amount of time. 

Wearing a mask the precise way isn’t necessarily smooth, even for adults, so it’s miles ok to use reinforcers as you would with different goals.

Make cue cards.

Some children take advantage of visible cues. Please take a picture of your child wearing a mask which can serve as a cue card to let them realize when it’s time to put on it. If they use a conversation device, you can upload the photo as an alternative.

Plan a brief and easy journey out of the residence.

Going to a wild, over-stimulating eating place or save isn’t always the unique way to check out a mask for youngsters with autism. Try something quiet and less disturbing for your first try, including a walk around a relaxed farmer’s marketplace or a socially distanced go-to with grandparents.

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