masks with special needs

jloucks

Well-Known Member
Not really. Right now masks are mandated as the belief is they save lives, think about that for a second. So somebody who sadly suffers from autism and can't wear a mask should be exempt even though they could be spreading a disease that can kill? You're putting the albeit small chance of somebody spreading covid 19 over somebody going to a theme park under the assumption that everyone wears masks, catching it and dying?

I have dystonia so wouldn't be allowed to fly a plane. My human rights aren't being abused here, it's just my desire to do something shouldn't outweigh the effects my desire could have on others. Some things may not seem fair, but the world's not a fair place either. Anyone taking legal action to insist they don't have to wear a mask in a theme park during a pandemic is just selfish. Nobody WANTS to wear them, many who don't decide not to go. Going to Disney is a decision one makes and not essential to life, but yes let's put peoples lives at risk so an individual gets to go to Disney during a pandemic!!!!
You're restoring my faith in humanity, one little step at a time. ❤
 

EdnaMode

Well-Known Member
We have a trip planned for Feb 2021 and I am terrified because our grandson has moderate autism and can not keep a mask on..
I am positive I am not the only one with this problem... what are some ideas?

I have an adult son with autism, and he didn't have any trouble adapting to using a mask. But, I didn't know, until I gave him one to practice with at home, whether that would be the case. He was open to it immediately, but we had introduced the mask a few months ago while our county was still on a strict lockdown just in case it would be a process that took some time. He now wears it anytime he leaves our home, even though he only goes for walks or rides in our own neighborhood or along with us for drive-up or curbside services. It was easier to make a single, simple rule for him: No masks at home, masks whenever leaving the house.

My suggestion would be to work with a behaviorist or with someone who is knowledgeable about principles of behaviorism. There might be someone in the school system who can assist if you don't have a private behaviorist involved. (We are fortunate to have someone who helps us with things like this and she is a GODSEND.)

Generally, a behaviorist would start with something very simple -- maybe you would give your grandson a small piece of the mask material to look at, to hold and touch. After a week or so, you might give him some pieces of the ear loop material to do the same. A few days later, he would wear the mask for a count of 10 -- or if needed, a countdown of just 3-2-1, you can take it off, here's a gummy bear reward. Increase the time worn over a very generous period of time; meanwhile, vary and reduce the reward. <--A behaviorist can help you with the tweaking that will help you work through this.

I would suggest using something other than elastic for the ear loops. I have made many, many masks using inexpensive tights cut into strips that form very comfortable, soft ear loops. I have never used it, but I have heard strips of cotton t-shirts also work well for soft, comfortable ear loops. If you would like and if you feel comfortable about it, message me behind the scenes and I'll send you a couple of homemade masks along with pieces of the fabric and a piece of the tights to work with as you try to help him adapt. I feel confident that with the right behavioral approach that you have plenty of time to work through this so that he can wear the mask and you can all enjoy your visit. I really wish you the very best of luck!!
 

IMFearless

Well-Known Member
Tried to quote the post above unsuccessfully!

Having worked for over 25 years in providing specialist care to people who have severe learning disabilities, here in the UK, this sounds like extremely good advice.

I have worked with many hundreds of children and adults, many of whom have had extremely longterm behaviours that may have been mismanaged, sometimes for many decades. The difficulty in managing behaviour is mainly that it is extremely time consuming and labour intensive and progress can be extremely slow. It also requires specialist knowledge to ensure you are approaching the situation correctly. With a consistent, sensitive and well thought through approach most people’s behaviour can be altered gradually over time. Is it always easy to do, hell no.

Hopefully you can come up with a program that can work for you.
 

Gramma4

New Member
Original Poster
Three pages of responses later and the original poster still hasn't responded.

Please do not make any judgments or assumptions.. i have replied to those who have given me any sound advice.... I don't to debate the mask debate ... I just want to know how we can make our trip happen, since I have a deposit on my villas.
 

mdktf

Well-Known Member
I have many things on my plate.. elderly parents with multiple hospital stays, work, grandkids, I check in when I can, so sorry if it's not on anyone's time table
Welcome to this forum, right load of Muppets, this is the kind of garbage and abuse u get which is why so many people leave.
 

Gramma4

New Member
Original Poster
The simple face covering that Disney are asking people to wear doesn't really protect the wearer, it is to help stop infected droplets getting out the mouth and nose of the wearer.
So the mask is to stop the person potentially spreading the virus, not getting it.
If you know anything at all about autism you would know that sensory is a big issue. Him wearing a mask alone can trigger a melt down
We are trying to prepare the best we can for our Feb 2021 trip. That’s the point of my concern was the autism and masks. Get it now ?
 

Giss Neric

Well-Known Member
If you know anything at all about autism you would know that sensory is a big issue. Him wearing a mask alone can trigger a melt down
We are trying to prepare the best we can for our Feb 2021 trip. That’s the point of my concern was the autism and masks. Get it now ?
Why don't you take it step by step then. Bring him first to a fair or an indoor amusement park, then move onto local parks in your state, then the finale would be Disney. If he doesn't pass those then might as well not go to Disney.

It's important to note that you and your family should be taking masks wearing seriously too.
 
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jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
If you know anything at all about autism you would know that sensory is a big issue. Him wearing a mask alone can trigger a melt down
We are trying to prepare the best we can for our Feb 2021 trip. That’s the point of my concern was the autism and masks. Get it now ?

I understand where you are coming from, my niece is autistic. The best thing that you can do is to try to get him used to wearing the mask. I know that it is one step forward and 2 steps back most of the time when they are learning something new. It is important that he is comfortable wearing the mask at all times because there will be no exceptions as it stands now. It would be better to cancel if he is unable to handle the masks, then to go and have to leave the parks because he won't wear them.
 

StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
My younger brother has autism. He's 18, so a bit older than the OP's grandson, but we've successfully gotten him used to wearing the masks.

Where we live, masks have been required since April. There's very little room for exceptions; basically, if you can't wear one, you're supposed to request curbside service for essentials. So when virtual learning was going on still, the schools were talking about it with the kids, letting them know that masks were required, talking to them about the pandemic, why it was happening, etc.

Then we basically have my brother the option when things started to reopen: we told him he could either stay home all the time, or he could learn to wear the mask and go out. Gradually, he started learning to wear the mask. I started by taking him to an outdoor mall where there's food places, so we'd go inside, wear the masks while getting food and then take them off while eating. We gradually worked out way up to going on vacation in Hilton Head, where Disney requires that you wear them when not in a pool area or in your room. Now we go to Hersheypark basically every weekend. I never have any issue getting him to wear the mask; in fact yesterday, we were at the water park, and I came out of the changing area without a mask and immediately got called on it by him (there was no one around, but he was correct...)

The other thing we did was give him choices between the masks. We have Disney ones, we have disposable ones, we have homemade ones...his favorite is actually one we found at Walgreens. We think he likes the way the material feels.

It is a process, and this is a kid who doesn't like sunglasses or hats, but he understands the virus is here and it's what we have to do in order to have some fun.
 

Hcalvert

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
If you know anything at all about autism you would know that sensory is a big issue. Him wearing a mask alone can trigger a melt down
We are trying to prepare the best we can for our Feb 2021 trip. That’s the point of my concern was the autism and masks. Get it now ?
My oldest son is autistic (Aspergers--before they stopped using the term) and he actually prefers to wear a mask at work (he works at a grocery store). I think it is because his facial expressions (or lack thereof) are hidden and he feels more comfortable and is more sociable. He actually had my grandma make him a fish-themed one to wear at work since he is in the seafood department. He says the little kids get a kick out of it. Now thinking about it, he has become more self-aware and aware of others since he started wearing a mask. Who knew. 🤷‍♀️ I also have a 12-year-old son who may be on the spectrum. He did not have an issue wearing the mask for two weeks at Disney when we went. The major complaint I got was that it bothered his ears at the beginning, but we streched the Disney mask a bit and he was fine. I know every kid is different, but don't underestimate your child. I thought my son would have an issue, but it appears I was more anxious about it than him.
 
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