Some places require face masks to be worn. Some people can't tolerate face masks, and legitimately, in line with local government rules, are exempt. But, there are many cases where not wearing a face mask has resulted in people being made to feel uncomfortable, including other people staring, pointing, commenting and in extreme cases verbal abuse. For this reason there are various badges and tops saying variants of 'Face Mask Exempt' (search on-line 'Face Mask Exempt Badges' in Images for examples), but these also make a very public statement that your child has a hidden disability, which they may not feel comfortable with.
There are two main types of face covering:
Everything else includes the many different styles and types of masks and scarves that are widely available. Key is that both the nose and mouth are fully covered, so the mask ideally extends to under the chin.
The reasons face masks are not well tolerated, especially by some children, include:
Here are some suggestions to help with this:
When any new regular pressure is applied to any part of the body, but especially the face, your systems of attention need time to get used to it - this is called an adaptation process. People who wear spectacles or sunglasses regularly often can't feel them because the sensation had been 'calibrated-out'. Anything new needs time. If a face covering is used and it is stressful, then a negative association can be created making the calibration process more difficult.
Your child may not be able to tolerate a mask, many can't.
The decisions are not easy and the options are far from ideal.
You need to balance up the pros and cons and together decide what is best for your child, which might be avoiding places, as we say, the options are far from ideal.
Please note, there are many different news reports about different styles and qualities of face covering used by the general public, including how many layers they should have, how often they should be washed, with and without filters, maximum time they should be worn for etc. The suggestions on this page are based on face covering needed to cover the nose, mouth and chin when out and about, please review local guidelines for further and area specific information and advice.
Your generous donations will be put to immediate use in supporting our charity...
At CVI Scotland we are devoted to helping people understand cerebral visual impairments, and together working towards developing the understanding of this complex condition.