Special Needs & Coronavirus: 4 Ways to Help Kids & Adults With Special Needs Adapt to Wearing Face Masks During the COVID-19 Pandemic by 30Seconds Health
As we work together to flatten the curve, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing face masks in public. For parents and caregivers of kids and adults with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences, it can be challenging to establish this new routine. Amy Kelly, National Director of Family Engagement at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, offers the following tips to help individuals with special needs adapt to wearing face masks:
- Talk with your child or adult about the pandemic in a developmentally appropriate way. Explain to him or her that wearing face masks can help stop the spread of the virus.
- Utilize visual supports, such as social stories, coloring books and plain language booklets, to help reduce fear and anxiety.
- Model the behavior you want to see. Use natural supports – wear a face mask and ask family members and friends to share photos of themselves wearing masks. Use these images to talk to your loved one about how we are all in this together.
- Find creative ways to ease the discomfort of face masks for those with sensory processing challenges. For example, sew a button on each side of a baseball hat, directly above the ears and attach the mask to the buttons.
The information on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.
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