Sunday, February 28, 2021

April Is Autism Awareness Month - 3 Mask #GIVEAWAY - Ends 3/14 @EastersealsSoCal #SensoryFriendlyMask


Easterseals Southern California has teamed with socially conscious lifestyle brand Rafi Nova, pioneer of the clear Smile Face Mask, to develop a Sensory-Friendly Mask to benefit children and adults with autism and other disabilities or anyone who finds wearing a conventional mask uncomfortable.

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. The Autism Society

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.


The 411

As a mother as an Autistic child and a Preschool Teacher I can tell you that Sensory-Friendly masks are so important. The kids at school have so much trouble keeping them on due to how "rough, hard, and uncomfortable" they feel on their faces. The loops behind the ears are bothersome for many. Many already wear glasses so having something else on the ears is too much.  People with ASD are already filtering out as much stimuli as possible to get through the day to day responsibilities of their lives that any more is overpowering. I love these masks so much. My son loved the adjustable band around the head. He has been complaining of the backs of his ears being "itchy and annoying" with his glasses and mask. Having the adjustable band means he fiddles much less.  He likes the fit under his chin as well. The mask is made to keep everything exactly where you need it. Across the bridge of the nose, around your face and under your chin. It is a perfect fit!

Being a teen he would not let me take a photo of him in his mask so I asked my teaching assistant.

After wearing it for a week she says it is very comfortable and when she first put it on thought it was harder to breathe through but now says "no, it was just softer than other masks".    My assistant being a  girl  has to wear children's masks or they are too big for her. This was perfect.  Most of her masks fall down her face or are always open near the nose. She was constantly pulling it back over the bridge. She loves it.  She also thought that the band would be a problem around her head because she "never wore one like that." She loves it. It stays exactly where she needs it to stay!  

She is going to get a few more colors so she has more available on washing days. That has been the problem for us too. Having more available so they can be washed frequently but it is so worth it. 

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. 

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) at:

Little Kids - 5-8 years

Kids - 9-13 years

Adults 14-99+ years.

I tried the Smile Mask because as a preschool teacher my class needs to see my mouth. 

It has been almost a year that many haven't seen anyone's mouth but their parents. It was kind of sweet and sad that every time I opened the door to admit a student into the school,  each and every kids stared at my mouth through the window in the mask.  Many toddlers kept asking about my mouth and "how do you have that mask on?" It must be so confusing after seeing everyone covered up for so long. They can see me smile and that was sadly confusing for them.

The mask is very comfortable and while it doesn't fog up because I used dish detergent on the plastic part I do need a little windshield wiper inside. Every time I wear it in no time the humidity builds up and I need to slip a tissue in just to get the moisture off. Not sure that this will work long term or if on someone who isn't always hot maybe things would be different but I end up with moisture all over the mask even while doing paperwork and not talking.  It's sad because I do love it and think it is so important for many to be able to see your lips. I remember at the beginning of this being at the grocery store and a man was trying to order something from the butcher. He couldn't hear them behind the counter and kept telling them, I am sorry I can't hear, I need to read lips. They were both so frustrated. 

You can definitely read someone's lips in the Smile mask.

Masks must be comfortable and functional for everyone. It's that simple," said Rafi Nova CEO Marissa Goldstein. 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.


 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. 

Easterseals Southern California (ESSC), the largest affiliate of the national Easterseals organization, provides services in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties. With nearly 3,000 employees, 60+ service sites and hundreds of community partnership locations, each year ESSC assists more than 13,000 people, providing adult/senior day services; autism therapy; child development/early education; employment services; veteran employment support; independent living options; and more.

For more information, visit:

Enter for a chance to win three (3) masks (value: $42-$48)

Disclaimer: I received complimentary masks for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.


  1. Adults Smile Mask Tie-Behind
    Adults + Kids Sherpa Winter Warmer Face Mask
    Quilted Winter Warmer Face Mask

  2. Elizabeth Tarlow5:15 PM

    I really like the Adult-Petite / Teen Tie Dye Everyday Mask 3-Pack!

  3. I like Donut Galore, Seamless Butterfly and Blue Butterfly masks.

  4. Anonymous12:33 PM

    Adult superfit mask, adult performance mask and adult elements mask!


  5. Black Sensory Friendly Mask
    Limited Edition: Adult Millie Smile Mask
    Royal Blue Adults Smile Mask With Adjustable Ear Loops


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