Autistic son gets headache after 30 minutes of wearing a mask

My son is participating in digital learning because he can not tolerate wearing a mask which is required for him to attend his High School. He becomes very short of breath, lightheaded, and develops a headache while wearing a mask. He had the PSAT that he needed to attend in school so I obtained a mask exemption from his pediatrician for him to enter the school and take the test without a mask. The exemption was approved by the school’s testing office for this test. But my son is on the Autism Spectrum and did not want to stand out from his peers by not wearing a mask. He started to have anxiety regarding being the only one in the school not wearing a mask. He contemplated not taking the test at all because he felt if he didn’t wear a mask that other students would not only shame him but be aggressive and mean to him. He was scared. The night before the test, he decided that he would wear a mask to enter the school and take the test and just deal with the consequences. He told me within 30 minutes of starting the test he got a headache and started to feel sick. As I instructed him to do, he pulled the mask down below his nose and continued with the test.
He desperately wants to attend school because this is the first time in his life that he has made actual friends while in school. He wants to be with his peers. But he has extreme anxiety over the masks. He knows he can not tolerate wearing a mask and even if I was able to get his school to agree to his mask exemption, he does not want to be singled out. I have tried to help him be courageous and not worry about what others think, but who am I kidding. Kids can be judgmental and mean. They have been to him his whole life. My son is different. He acts differently. He is a bit quirky. He struggles to fit in already so being the “maskless” student in the school is a role he is not willing to take on.
So he continues to spend hours a day on the computer for digital learning so he doesn’t have to wear a mask!

Age
16
Location
Lawrenceville. GA
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