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Masks making life difficult for diagnosing children with autism

West Virginia

OHIO COUNTY, WV (WTRF) — Masks are mandatory many places, and for some of us wearing them maybe just a bit uncomfortable. But for children with autism, it’s much more difficult.

Dr. Ellen Kitts, who is the Medical Director for Easterseals, says some children with autism physically can’t wear masks due to sensory issues. They can’t stand to have anything on their face or head.

In some cases, masks are also inhibiting testing to see if a child is autistic.

Autism is a social disorder and you need to be able to see facial expression and see how they relate. And having a mask on, having a plastic barrier, makes the testing almost impossible and that’s been very difficult because we have a backlog, but we can’t honestly give a good answer when things are so artificial and what we’re looking for is how they respond naturally.

Dr. Ellen Kitts, Medical Director for Easterseals

Dr. Kitts explained that some kids are also afraid of the masks. But that’s wearing off because they see so many people wearing them.

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