So many parents enjoy taking their kids to meet Santa at the mall and getting their pictures taken. It is such a common event this time of year. The lines of kids with their parents waiting to take their turn sitting on Santa’s lap. Waiting to tell Santa what they want for Christmas.
For some children and their parents this is a major challenge. What most people take for granted as an easy holiday season activity the parents of children with autism find to be almost impossible.
These parents have the same wishes for their children as all other parents. To participate in all things that other children do. To be able to sit on Santa’s lap and get their pictures taken and be able tell Santa what they are hoping for on Christmas.
Children with autism are often very sensitive to noisy, crowded and over stimulating environments. It is hard to them to wait patiently in lines for long periods. So their parents must often give up on them ever doing something other parents think of as a normal thing to do around Christmas time.
I read a story in the LA Times by Hailey Branson-Potts about a place in Northridge, California, called Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym, that has found a way to make Santa accessible to kids with autism. I have a link to the article here: Sensitive Santa The story is very touching as it describes the kids’ reactions when they were able to approach Santa in an environment that was comfortable for them.
I wonder if anyone else has heard of this being done for kids with autism in other places? I think it is a great idea and could easily be copied. What do you think?