Santa Cares brings comfort to parents with special needs children

05 December, 2017, 02:33 | Author: Clint Gray
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The report says it's unknown who took the full Santa Claus suit and an extra hat from a back room at the mall.

The Caring Santa program is available, by appointment, for children and families about an hour and a half before a shopping mall opens.

Santa's team says making children of all ages smile is part of the magic of the season. It is a low sensory experience for children with autism with other special disabilities.

That's where the event "Santa Cares" comes in. So we're excited to start here and make it bigger and better next year.

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"He doesn't like crowds and he needs a little bit calmer", said Flannery.

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

Londonderry Mall is hosting other Silent Santa events on December 9 and 16. "It would just be something that we wouldn't do and we 'd miss out on".

Breanne Hartfield, a parent, says she found out about the event through Facebook and couldn't pass up the opportunity.

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Smiles could be seen across children's faces as they passed Santa's Wonderland in Grapevine Mills.

"It makes it doable", said Smith". "Or sometimes Luke will just absolutely shut down and it's like he's not there - it's just too much for him".

"When there is a lot more people, they get a lot more nervous". "It really is eye-opening".

"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".

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

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