Caring Santa visits with children with special needs

05 December, 2017, 02:31 | Author: Keith Rowe
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While special accommodations were made for children with special needs, their siblings and family were also welcome. "To be able to share that with fellow Autism families, a director of Autism support group in Hattiesburg, so we were very excited to see that they had thought of us, and allotted the time for us to see Santa", Stephanie said.

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

But, that trip to see Santa can be more hard for some families like Nygaards, with children on the Autism spectrum.

"It makes us feel like a regular, normal family", said Angie Flannery, whose son has special needs.

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

"He doesn't like crowds", said parent Angie Flannery.


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

According to Autismspeaks.com, Santa Cares is a sensory-friendly Santa photo experience in partnership with Cherry Hill Programs.

Smith says she appreciates any events that specify time for her son Caleb and children like him. The report says it's unknown who took the full Santa Claus suit and an extra hat from a back room at the mall. "Sometimes we have to miss out on things that we just can't do without these opportunities".

"It could mean just not being able to cope at all - lots of screaming and yelling and not being physically able to be in that environment". "He gets over stimulated by all of the people".

"This event allows anybody with a developmental disability who still wants to participate in the Christmas spirit and get to see Santa that opportunity that they wouldn't otherwise have", said John Nygaard, Jack's father.

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