Autism-friendly Santa coming to South Florida malls

MIAMI (WSVN) - Going to the mall during the holiday season can be overwhelming for children who suffer from autism and related disabilities. However, thanks to Autism Speaks, children with autism will be able to have a sensory-friendly visit with Santa this year.

Autism Speaks has partnered with the Noerr Programs Corporation to bring a sensory-friendly “Noerr’s Santa Photo Experience” to more than 180 malls across the country, Nov. 20 and Dec. 4.

The programs, Caring Santa (a partnership with SIMON Malls), Santa Cares and Sensitive Santa (a partnership with Washington Prime Group Malls) provide families that have children with autism and other disabilities with the opportunity to connect with Santa Claus in a way that is comfortable and respects their unique, individual needs.

According to Autism Speaks, many children with autism have difficulty processing and integrating sensory information or stimuli, such as sights, loud sounds and movement. Seemingly ordinary stimuli to most people is actually painful, unpleasant or confusing to those with autism who are hypersensitive to sounds or touch.

Now, no child has to miss out on the Noerr’s Santa Photo Experience, and parents can feel at ease knowing the staff on hand is knowledgeable of autism and related disabilities.

Visits with Santa will be held before the malls open to make it a more private experience. To schedule an appointment, visit the Noerr Programs website.

South Florida dates:

Nov. 20:

Caring Santa
The Falls
8888 SW 136th St, Miami
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Dec. 4:

Caring Santa
The Falls
8888 SW 136th St, Miami
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Caring Santa
Dadeland Mall
7535 N Kendall Dr, Miami
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Caring Santa
Coral Square Mall
9469 W Atlantic Blvd, Coral Springs
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

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