Assessment of Feasibility of Face Covering in School-Aged Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Attending-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
May 17, 2021
Benjamin Aaronson, PhD1; Sara Nelson Glick, PhD, MPH2; Christa Jefferis Kirk, PharmD3; William A. McCloud IV, EdS4; Tyler R. Sasser, PhD5; Danielle M. Zerr, MD, MPH6; Janet A. Englund, MD6
Aaronson et al. performed a cohort study examining face covering behavior among kids who participated in a treatment program at the University of Washington Autism Center during July 2020. Participants (n=104) aged 5-13 years old were supervised daily in groups of ten for 4 weeks during activities such as group discussions and board games. The children would receive points for good behavior and a mask-wearing bonus if they wore their mask correctly for a specified time interval. Eighty-six percent of the children wore a face covering at least 75% of the time. There was a significant association between a child’s age and prevalence of mask wearing, with older children wearing masks correctly more often. The study showed that kids with autism spectrum disorder and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder correctly used face covering throughout group activities, suggesting that face covering can be used as an infection mitigation measure in pediatric settings.
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