The Borten Institute
Wearing a face mask can be difficult for typically developing children, but even more so for children with Autism or other sensory processing issues.
Sensory Processing can be defined as how the nervous system receives input from the senses and turns input into an appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Being over responsive or under responsive to these processes can result in sensory processing disorder.
For example, some over responsive or under responsive behavior to sensory input maybe as follows:
Use of a face mask for extended periods of time, can be challenge for students with sensory processing issues. Here are some strategies to support wearing a face mask by Mount Sinai Seaver Autism Center:
•Parent / sibling/stuffed animal as a model for wearing
•Make it “fun”
•Practice wearing at home
•Increase the amount of time worn each day
•Include child in the process
•Design, color, putting on
•Explore different fabrics
•Choose breathable, non-itchy fabrics
•Ear attachments (minimize pressure around the ear)
•Adult sizes vs Child sizes
The Seaver Autism Center also suggested mask modifications as shown below:
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