This Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Toilet Paper Bracelet Craft post is sponsored.
On Wednesdays, we wear pink. So the quote from Mean Girls goes. Even people who don’t know the movie know the saying.
But did you know on April 2, we wear blue. Each year, Autism Speaks hosts “Light It Up Blue” to show support and raise awareness for the Autism community.
If you want to show your support today, but you don’t own any blue, follow our tutorial for this simple Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Toilet Paper Bracelet Craft.
And, at the end of this post, find out how you can enter to win three sensory-friendly masks, which are great for children or adults with Autism and/or sensory sensitivity.
Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Toilet Paper Bracelet Craft
Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Toilet Paper Bracelet Craft Supplies:
How To Make An Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Toilet Paper Bracelet Craft:
Cut the toilet paper roll down the center, lengthwise.
Cut the toilet paper roll in half, then half again, to form four pieces.
Cover the toilet paper roll with a piece of gold glitter washi tape. It’s okay if it trickles over the side. If it does, just fold the excess back.
I used two overlapping pieces to cover the toilet paper roll.
Cut out a puzzle piece shape from the blue card stock.
I freehanded it, but you can draw it first and then cut it out.
Fold a small piece of washi tape and stick it to the back of the blue card stock. Alternatively, you can use a dab of glue to affix it.
Affix it on to the bracelet.
Wear it with pride.
Why is blue the color of Autism Awareness?
The “Light It Up Blue” campaign was started by Autism Speaks. The advocacy group’s main color is also blue.
To Autism Speaks, blue represents a calmness in a world that is often loud and overstimulating for those with Autism.
Because of this, we made sure the puzzle piece on our bracelet was made from blue card stock.
Why does the puzzle piece represent autism?
A puzzle piece has long been a symbol for Autism awareness. Officially, the puzzle ribbon has been the ribbon for Autism awareness since 1999. The Autism Awareness Ribbon is a ribbon filled with primary colored puzzle pieces.
The puzzle piece represents the complexity (aka the puzzle) that is Autism. The diversity of colors represent the diversity of people and families affected by and living with Autism. The bright colors represent hope.
Because of this, we made a puzzle piece charm for this bracelet.
What are some of the characteristics of Autism?
Autism is fully known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It’s a spectrum, which means the characteristics of those with Autism are on a varying wavelength. There are common characteristics of Autism, such as effects on the senses, social interactions and cues, and emotional expressions.
Some characteristics that are associated with ASD are difficulty interacting with others or showing emotions, the need for routine, an overabundance of interest in and knowledge of a specific topic, and a difficulty with social cues.
Persons with Autism often have sensory issues that effect the five senses. This sensitivity can be either hyper-sensitivities (over-responsiveness) or hypo-sensitivities (under-responsiveness) to certain things.
For some, they’re hyper-sensitive to loud noises, which is why you will often see persons with Autism wearing headphones in crowded areas where there is a lot of sound.
For others, they’re hypo-sensitive to pain. So you have to be very careful if these people fall or injure themselves as they won’t feel pain in the way that a neurotypical person would feel or would expect someone to feel.
For more about characteristics of Autism, this article by the CDC is a great resource.
For some people with Autism, they’re hyper-sensitive to certain fabrics or styles of clothing. Clothing items that are restrictive can cause sensory issues.
So facemasks, which are necessary in almost every facet of our current lives, are barriers for some people with Autism and the people who love them.
My cousin Erica’s son RJ, who is 4-and-a-half, has certain sensory issues, so he won’t wear a mask. As soon as she would put one on him, he would immediately tear is off. That’s fine if she could keep him at home all day long, but that’s not possible. And not wearing a mask becomes a restriction for certain activities.
Erica, her husband, RJ, and his sister had plans to fly to Texas to visit Erica’s cousin. But RJ’s defiance over a mask means they’re unable to board an airplane flown by most carriers. There are only two airline carriers that allow passengers with disabilities to fly without masks.
When I heard about lifestyle brand Rafi Nova, who created the clear Smile Face Mask, had partnered with over a dozen Easterseals’ therapists, licensed and certified staff, and people who receive services from Easterseals Southern California to create a sensory-friendly mask, I immediately thought of RJ.
Rafi Nova sent three of the “little kids” size masks to RJ to try.
“No pressure,” I told Erica. “If they don’t work, they won’t work. But imagine if they do.”
“I’ll book a flight so fast,” she said.
The masks are soft, thanks to a Mulberry silk lining that reduces friction. They have an adjustable strap clasp rather than the traditional elastic that pinches the ears. There’s limited seaming, and the construction of the mask lifts it away from the mouth to make it more breathable.
At first, RJ was wearing the mask around his neck as he played outside. For some, that sounds like nothing. But for RJ, that was a big step. That was more than he had allowed traditional masks.
A few days later, he actually allowed the mask to stay on his face — over his nose and mouth — while his teacher put on his jacket after school.
Around three weeks of having the mask, RJ was up to wearing the mask for five minutes, which is amazing progress.
Is he going to keep it on for a full flight from New Jersey to Texas? Not yet. But is this mask a step in the right direction of getting RJ on that flight and easing some of the restrictions masks are placing on him? Yes. And that, honestly, is a gift.
Sensory-Friendly Masks Giveaway
Ravi Nova gave that gift to RJ and his family, and we want to give it to you. We’re partnering with Easterseals Southern California to give three sensory-friendly masks away to one lucky winner.
Enter for a chance to win via the form below. If you don’t win, don’t worry. You can purchase the Ravi Nova sensory-friendly masks here. The masks come in “Little Kids” (ages 5 to 8), “Kids” (ages 9 to 13), and “Adult” (ages 14+) sizes. The masks are $14 for the kids sizes and $16 for the adult sizes. If you buy in bulk, the prices are reduced.
If you enter the code ESSC at checkout, a portion of your purchase price will be donated to Easterseals SoCal.
This giveaway starts now, April 2, and ends at 11:59pm EST on April 10, 2021. The winner must be a US resident who is 18 or older. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to the winning email before another winner is selected.
Ravi Nova will be sending the prize directly to the winner. Drugstore Divas is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Good luck.
- Toilet paper roll or craft roll
- Gold glitter washi tape
- Blue card stock
- Cut the toilet paper roll down the center, lengthwise.
- Cut the toilet paper roll in half, then half again, to form four pieces.
- Cover the toilet paper roll with a piece of gold glitter washi tape.
- Cut out a puzzle piece shape from the blue card stock.
- Fold a small piece of washi tape and stick it to the back of the blue card stock.
- Affix it on to the bracelet.