Silent Santa: Children with autism enjoy quiet, calm visit with St. Nick

Bryan Strickland
December 5, 2017

Santa's that working with the Caring Santa program are trained to interact with children who have special needs and almost 400 sensory-friendly Santa experiences will happen nationwide this year. "And it really means a lot to be able to go out and if their children do have a meltdown, all of us here understand, so they won't be met with criticism or judgment", Champion Autism Network Director Becky Large said.

"To keep him settled is the main thing, and [with] this we could get in and waited, like, two minutes or was great, " he added.

"I'm so grateful Santa Cares was brought to the community".

The event was a chance for about 40 children living with autism to enjoy time with Santa in a quiet and sensory-friendly environment.

"I hope we get to do this next year", says O'mary. Parents say it helps.

The event was held in the morning before the mall opened for the day.

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"His attitude and his reaction right now the mood he's in is because of this", said attending parent Jan Smith.

Smith says she appreciates any events that specify time for her son Caleb and children like him.

"The children's families are able to make an appointment so the children don't have to wait in line quite as long, and it generally makes for a much more positive meaningful experience with Santa", Pinsky said.

"It makes it doable", said Smith".

Cavanagh adds most people don't realize how important it is for families to get these type of opportunities.

In all, about thirty families were able to take pictures with Santa during Sunday's event.

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