Here, you can get a mask social story for kids with sensory needs. Trying to help kids with the task of wearing a mask? Social stories are a great tool for explaining concepts using pictures and affirming words. This social story about face masks is an important one for kids. Whether face masks are needed for immunity needs, doctor or hospital visits, health or safety needs, or something else, it can be important concept to address with children and a social story about masks is a great visual tool.
Social Story about Wearing Masks
When our kids were moving from full virtual to hybrid learning, so that means kids that have been out of the classroom since March are now going to be back in the physical school location, wearing masks was a new and different thing!. And, getting kids to wear masks…and keep those masks on…can be a real concern, especially for kids with sensory needs!
Today, I’ve got a free teletherapy slide deck to help kids learn the importance of wearing a mask and it covers the sensory concerns that might come up with mask wearing. This slide deck is a social story for mask wearing with sensory issues, so it adds a story component while allowing kids to understand why they need to wear a mask when it feels itchy or scratchy. This slide deck is free, so grab it below.
Wearing a mask with sensory needs
For kids with sensory needs, wearing a mask can be a big problem. But some schools, businesses, and situations require a mask for entry. So how does the child with sensory needs deal with this situation? For some, the softest of face masks can feel scratchy or itchy. It can make others feel like they are contained. Still others are frustrated wtih the feel of mask straps behind their ears.
Kids with sensory needs and masks don’t mix!
That’s why I wanted to put this social story together and get it into your hands. Because some kids are truly struggling with wearing a mask and don’t understand why they need to have this itchy, scratchy fabric attached to their face!
Wearing a Mask Social Story
Some kids respond really well to social stories, so this slide deck should be a good way to teach this concept. I’ve made the slide deck interactive, so kids can read through the slide, and move the checkmark to the “finished” square once they understand the concept on each slide.
The slides cover various aspects of masks for kids with sensory needs, including how masks feel on the skin, or how they may make a person feel hot.
I’ve also included slides in this social story that tell the reader they can ask for help if they need it when wearing a mask.
Some children may chew on their face mask to meet oral sensory needs as calming input when they attempt to self-regulate. However, another sensory tool could be used in place of the mask. This sensory social story helps kids to understand that by reading the words of the story and by matching those words to the image.
Kids with sensory needs or those with sensory processing disorder may feel the temperature difference between having a mask on or off. This mask sensory story covers those issues.
You’ll find slides for kids that feel that mask move in and out with their breath, as well. All of these sensory sensitivities can be very apparent with the use of a face mask!
Free slide deck for wearing a mask with sensory needs
To get this slide deck, enter your email address below. By doing this, I am able to deliver the slides to your email inbox.
Be sure to log into your Google drive first. You will get a pdf that you can save and use over and over again. Click the document to make a copy of the slide onto your drive.
Use the slide deck in “edit” mode to allow students to move the check marks on each slide as the individual slide is read. You can also use this slide deck in “present” mode, but the movable piece won’t work.
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.