Navigating the Uncertainty of the Pandemic as a Young Adult on the Autism Spectrum

The pandemic has been a major adjustment for all of us. For all of us, the pandemic, indeed has been a major change in our daily living routines. I am someone who tends to do best with routines and structure and change is hard for me. I was never resistant to wearing a face mask and I began wearing face masks very early on in the pandemic. Coming from a mostly medical family, I’ve always been ahead on the health protocols, however, it was also my mindset as well. I care about helping myself and others. I care about my husband, our cat, our family, our friends and our communities, as well as doing what is right. These experiences make us better and stronger as we grow during hard times. However, even after the pandemic is over, one thing that worries me is that individuals with autism and other disAbilities will be left further behind. Whether its school or employment or socialization, individuals on the autism spectrum often have lots of obstacles to get through. There are many challenges many individuals with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) face on a daily basis (pandemic or no pandemic). Face coverings have been hard for many individuals with ASD as it makes comprehending social cues even more difficult as you can only see peoples eyes through the face mask rather than their whole faces.

I hope to really bridge the gap Despite face masks making social cues difficult, it is very important for everyone to wear them, even individuals with ASD as it helps slow the spread of coronavirus and especially the new variants. You do not have to agree with me on everything I say. We have our own opinions, but I am just saying my point. We can all get through this and I have faith in everyone.

Some tips to help wear a mask for Children with ASD can include:

-Using face masks with fun designs

-Practicing using face masks on dolls, stuffed animals, etc

-Link wearing face masks to super hero capes

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