Contact Us

Autistic Kids Get a Special Meeting with ‘Sensitive Santa’ [VIDEO]

ABC News

The bright lights, loud music and long lines can often keep autistic kids from engaging in a holiday ritual many children enjoy: an annual visit with Santa.

So one mall opened early last Sunday morning for some low-key “sensitive Santa” time.

The Northtown Mall, in Blaine, Minnesota, dimmed the lights and lowered the music volume to make autistic children more comfortable, and forms filled out by parents in advance gave Sensitive Santa insight on the kids’ wish lists. This year, more than 50 kids of all ages attended the event.

Northtown Marketing Director Linda Sell said, “It’s something very small on our end but it means so much to families. It’s heartwarming to see the joy in the kids’ faces, and in the parents.”

Dr. Max Wiznitzer, a neurologist specializing in autism at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, said parents want their children to have the same opportunities as their peers.

“A visit with Santa is one of those things you expect to happen,” he said. “This is our culture recognizing that if the kids can’t fit into the template, the template has to fit the kids.”

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

[ABC News]

Best of KLAW 101

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for KLUB KLAW quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive KLUB KLAW contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.