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Santa Meets Kids with Special Needs

Kids with Autism meet Santa Claus at special event.

Millions of kids across the country look forward to seeing Santa each Christmas, but for kids with autism something as fun a seeing Santa Claus can be a challenge. For children who have autism high energy environments could be difficult --especially around the holidays. The mall this time of year is a challenging place to be for kids. With loud music, the hustle and bustle of the crowds make it hard for children with autism to handle. The Barber National Institute hosted autism friendly time with Santa at the Millcreek Mall to help families take their holidays photos. The mall turned off the music and allowed families to meet Santa before normal visiting hours. People getting pictures with Santa were given a number so they didn't have to wait in line and activities were available to keep the kids occupied in the mean time. The calmer -- less stimulating environment creates a less stressful experience for the kids and their parents.

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