Caring Santa visits with children with special needs

Brandon Parsons
December 5, 2017

The Saddle Creek in Germantown worked with a program called "Santa Cares" Sunday morning, to help children with autism and sensory sensitivities be comfortable with Santa.

Santa and his helpers gave access to his Wonderland for the families who signed up, before the mall opened. "It's important that all children, no matter if they have special needs or not, be able to see Santa over the holidays".

Capitol City Mall in Cumberland County has also hosted the event for a few years and says it's a great way for kids and their families to feel included at this busy time of the year. She said, "What a lot of people don't understand is special needs children, some of them have never visited Santa, sat with Santa". The report says it's unknown who took the full Santa Claus suit and an extra hat from a back room at the mall. It is a low sensory experience for children with autism with other special disabilities.

Vanessa Avila brought her daughter and her non-verbal four year old son, Nathan. Part of the problem with going out to big events like this is the distraction and that overwhelmed feeling he gets, he gets overstimulated by all the people, and so just the time where it's quiet, and there's not a lot of people, takes a lot of the stress off of us.

"We know that taking a photo with Santa is a valued holiday tradition and we wanted to make that inclusive for all families", says Springfield Town Center Marketing Director Kimberly Baldy.

That's where the event "Santa Cares" comes in.

Organizers say this was the first year for the event.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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