Local mall offers "Sensory Santa" event for children with Autism

Two kids posing with Santa at West County Center. Credit KMOV

Two kids posing with Santa at West County Center. Credit KMOV

"My youngest is sensitive to a lot of sounds, too loud stuff, and my oldest he has a limit", said parent Alana Benavides.

"It's awesome. There are so many opportunities out there that we are just not able to do, so knowing we can come here each year, it's just definitely a blessing", said parent Kristy Miller.

2017 was the first year local malls have participated.

This is the second year Autism Edmonton has put on Silent Santa.

"He just couldn't tolerate the lines and all the extra excitement, what's going on at the mall", said Dore.

"My son Joe really loves Santa and would want to see Santa but when there's a lot of people around, he just wants to crawl under a table and he can't engage with Santa.", says Phyllis Zelnis. "He's excited about it", said mother Broquet Hill.

Autism Speaks organizes a variety of events in the area throughout the year that are sensory-friendly for families with children with autism can have fun in a secure environment.

Some of those changes are shutting off the mall music, turning down the lights and having activities and snacks available for them to enjoy while they're waiting for their visit with Santa.

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

While it appears the Caring Santa events in Houston wrapped for the season, other locations across Texas and the country still have availability.

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