Many children will have challenges wearing a face mask, as this maybe required when they to school. Our children with sensory issues will be more impacted. Many resources exists for families with regards to social stories about masks. Step one is to explain the situation to your child. Choose a time when your child is calm to speak to them about what a face mask is, why it is required right now, and how to wear it. Be clear and utilize the resources available. Use social stories on TV, iPads and AAC devices. Teach your child to wear the face mask. Depending on your child’s needs, adaptations may need to be made to the mask. Start slowly with beginning steps.
When introducing the face mask, start by just holding it their hands. Gradually work up to having the mask touch the face and then go on to your child’s face. Use a visual timer to track the time the mask is to be worn. Always reinforce the behavior positively. Talk to your child’s occupational therapist for suggestions on sensory suggestions. Talk to your child’s speech therapist for a social story.