Sensory Santa is coming… to town! Well, many towns anyway! This is the first year that I have seen so many articles and posts from all over the United States, from all over the world, about initiatives to get Santa in touch with all of the children who want to have a visit.
You see, visiting with Santa is often something that is out of reach for special needs children. Waiting in lines, braving crowds, noises and slashing lights almost always proves too much for a group of kids who are easily over-stimulated. Not to mention, germs! Often special needs children have weakened immune systems making them especially susceptible to colds at an already really rough time of the year.
This yea, some malls and organizations are setting aside special meetings, blocks of time dedicated to special needs children. Others are allowing special need children to go to the front of the line. All of these arrangements provide a calm environment for every child to sit on Santa’s lap, hear his jolly laugh and make those special Christmas wishes!
Here are some articles and information we have found – There are many more but these are very touching.
Sensory Santa in Australia
Caring Santa in Indianapolis Malls
Sensitive Santa in Toronto
Merritt Square Mall in Florida
Johnson City Tennessee – Six years!
For many of these children, this is the first time they are able to sit on Santa’s lap! Isn’t that incredible?
As awareness and acceptance for Autism grows I anticipate many more opportunities for all children to meet with Santa and feel the magic spirit that the big jolly fellow can bring. I hope to see twice as many articles about it next year! If you have a child that would do well with a visit with a sensory Santa, don’t forget to look into one of these opportunities next year.
Every child deserves the magic of Christmas!
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net