Northpark Mall Joins Autism Speaks for a Santa Photo Experience

Northpark Mall Joins Autism Speaks for a Santa Photo Experience

The holiday season is an exciting time, especially for children. "To be able to share that with fellow Autism families, a director of Autism support group in Hattiesburg, so we were very excited to see that they had thought of us, and allotted the time for us to see Santa", Stephanie said.

"It's very important", said Santa "I mean, that's what Christmas is all about". "It's just special because we create a sensory friendly environment for these children without the lights, music, and different faces".

"His attitude and his reaction right now, the mood he's in is because of this, you know?" said Smith. "He needs a lit bit more calm so we thought that would be good to do on Sunday morning".

Many families who attended the event say they don't often go to the mall because of the crowds and loud noises, but this event let them get the experience of Christmas shopping without the chaos.

That's why ten years ago the Barber National Institute launched a sensory Santa event.

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Smith says she appreciates any events that specify time for her son Caleb and children like him.

The Avila's are among 30 families who reserved a special visit to Santa's Wonderland at Grapevine Mills for an event called Caring Santa.

"It makes it doable", said Smith". "It's just really feels great to be able to help families do something that a lot of us take for granted". "Or sometimes Luke will just absolutely shut down and it's like he's not there - it's just too much for him".

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

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