These Malls Are Bringing the Season’s Cheer with ‘Autistic Friendly’ Santa for Disabled Kids

‘Tis the season to give and receive! These malls are taking that idea to another level, declaring ‘autistic friendly’ visiting hours for children and their families.

During the upcoming month, over 180 Florida malls have pledged to join the fight against autism, offering disabled kids the chance of a lifetime … and the perks are almost endless!

ORG XMIT: *S19566083* Santa, played by Bryan Hantak (cq), talks with Jordan Capener (cq, age 3.5) at Our Children's House in Frisco, Texas, Saturday, December 6, 2008. The quiet atmosphere allowed for a mellow meeting for children with special needs away from the chaos at usual Santa areas. MATT NAGER/ SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR 12122008xMetro [ santa claus ]

Taking into consideration the extremely ‘noise sensitive’ children, the shops have promised to open early and provide a calm environment for the kiddos. Parents are even invited to bring their tiny tots to the private rooms that provide an interactive opportunity to meet St. Nick himself.

The idea is quickly spreading throughout the nation, getting the attention it deserves! Children with special needs are lining up, ready to meet Mr. Claus in a ‘sensory friendly’ experience.


It’s all thanks to Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to research and raising awareness for the disorder.

“Programs like our sensitive Santa experience play an important role in providing families affected by autism with the opportunity to participate in an activity that may be difficult for some to attend,” the nonprofit wrote in a heartfelt press release.


And they couldn’t be doing a better job.

“Autism Speaks is thrilled to provide families that have children with autism and other special needs with the opportunity to connect with Santa in a special way this holiday season!” the organization added.

The nonprofit sent a casting call to local Santa Clauses, with invitations to attend a educational training session. After learning the details and affects of autism, the boys in red were ready to meet the smiling faces of children throughout the country.

Families were thrilled and even brought to tears at the chance of a lifetime.

Check out the footage of the cheer filled holiday moments!

Source: ABC News