April is Autism Awareness Month #SensoryFriendlyMask #GIVEAWAY

I am the first to admit that what I know about Autism could fit on the head of a sewing pin. So we are talking NADDA!!

Here are a few things that I have learned:

autism month banner

Did you know?

About one-in-54 children has been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

About one-in-six children aged 3–17 years (17%) were diagnosed with a developmental disability as reported by parents, during a study period of 2009-2017. These included autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, blindness and cerebral palsy, among others.

What Exactly is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or autism is a developmental disability considered the result of a neurological condition affecting normal brain function, development and social interactions. Children and adults with autism find it difficult or impossible to relate to other people in a meaningful way and may show restrictive and/or repetitive patterns of behavior or body movements. While great strides are being made, there is no known cause, or a known singular effective treatment for autism.

Opening the Door to Autism

There are five developmental disorders that fall under the Autism Spectrum Disorder umbrella and are defined by challenges in three areas: social skills, communication, and behaviors and/or interests.

Autistic Disorder — occurs in males four times more than females and involves moderate to severe impairments in communication, socialization and behavior.

Asperger’s Syndrome — sometimes considered a milder form of autism, Asperger’s is typically diagnosed later in life than other disorders on the spectrum. People with Asperger’s syndrome usually function in the average to above average intelligence range and have no delays in language skills, but often struggle with social skills and restrictive and repetitive behavior.

Rett Syndrome — diagnosed primarily in females who exhibit typical development until approximately five to 30 months when children with Rett syndrome begin to regress, especially in terms of motor skills and loss of abilities in other areas. A key indicator of Rett syndrome is the appearance of repetitive, meaningless movements or gestures.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder — involves a significant regression in skills that have previously been acquired, and deficits in communication, socialization and/or restrictive and repetitive behavior.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) — includes children that do not fully meet the criteria for the other specific disorders or those that do not have the degree of impairment associated with those disorders.

Living with Autism

People with autism have challenges in the areas of communication, socialization and restricted/repetitive behaviors. A few examples:

Communication

  • Development of language is significantly delayed
  • Some do not develop spoken language
  • Experience difficulty with both expressive and receptive language
  • Difficulty initiating or sustaining conversations
  • Robotic, formal speech
  • Repetitive use of language
  • Difficulty with the pragmatic use of language

Socialization

  • Difficulty developing peer relationships
  • Difficulty with give and take of social interactions
  • Lack of spontaneous sharing of enjoyment
  • Impairments in use and understanding of body language to regulate social interaction
  • May not be motivated by social reciprocity or shared give-and-take

Restricted/Repetitive Behavior

  • Preoccupations atypical in intensity or focus
  • Inflexibility related to routines and rituals
  • Stereotyped movements
  • Preoccupations with parts of objects
  • Impairments in symbolic play

There is Hope
Autism is a baffling, life-long disorder. And while there is no cause or cure, nor a known singular effective treatment, it is treatable. People with autism — at any age — can make significant progress through therapy and treatments, and can lead meaningful and productive lives.

However, experts agree that early diagnosis and early intervention are critical – because the earlier people with autism get help, the better their outcomes will be in the future.

In this time we all know how import wearing your mask is. Rafi Nova the CEO Marissa Goldstein has designed masks that are comfortable and functional for EVERYONE!!!

Earlier this year, the company pioneered transparent masks with their Smile Mask launch to restore visual cues to masked communication. In partnership with ESSC, the Sensory-Friendly Mask represents the next generation of the company’s inclusive face coverings designed to protect and reconnect communities.

The Sensory-Friendly Mask retails for $14 (child sizes) and $16 (adults). Available in light blue, light pink, hunter green, black and “Over the Moon” (kids sizes only)

A portion of each purchase will be donated to Easterseals Southern California when you use code: ESSC

Features of the Mask Include:

  • Softness:  100% Mulberry silk lining reduces friction and adjustable jersey knit straps clasp behind the head instead of pinching the ears.
  • Structured:  Minimal design and limited seaming.
  • Secure:  Adjustable nose bridge ensures the perfect fit and decreases glasses fogging.
  • Safe:  Special construction lifts the mask off the mouth and highly breathable cotton is used on the exterior.
  • Durability: The mask has an antibacterial layer and is reusable and machine washable
  •  Ease:  A clasp on the back ensures ease of putting on and removal. When not on the face, the mask may safely remain on the person and not be lost thanks to an extra strap feature that fastens it behind the neck.
  • Social Story:  Comes with a visual storytelling designed by therapists that helps children understand mask-wearing necessity.

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GIVEAWAY TIME!!! 

Giveaways is available for U.S. & Canadian participants only. 

About Rafi Nova:

Rafi Nova is a socially conscious lifestyle brand on a mission to outfit families with products and accessories designed for everyday adventures while empowering them to connect, have fun and do more good in the world. Founded as a fair-trade fashion brand to equip adventurous families with sustainably made travel bags, the company shifted focus to face masks to solve the urgent needs of families and communities. Veterans of sustainable product manufacturing, Co-founders Marissa and Adam Goldstein named the company after their two sets of twins and travel partners: Raya, Efi, Noa and Eyva.

About Easterseals:

For more than 100 years, Easterseals has been an indispensable resource for people with disabilities and their families. Each year more than 1.5 million people benefit from Easterseals services across a network of affiliates in communities nationwide. Easterseals makes profound and positive differences in people’s lives every day, helping them address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals so that they can live, learn, work and play in our communities.

The premier New England mask maker partnered with ESSC to design a mask with reduced stimuli to address the concerns of people with sensory sensitivities, consulting more than a dozen of Easterseals’ therapists and other licensed and certified staff and working with people who receive services from ESSC, as well as their families and other community members. Over a three-month period, multiple prototypes were tested and revised to achieve a maximally beneficial mask—soft, structured, safe, secure—that provides both comfort and function.

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