For some children with autism a visit with Santa Claus can be a sensory overload that ends in tears. Malls across the country are now offering a sensory-friendly Santa.
Last year, 9-year-old J.D. Mauss and his parents went to see a regular Santa.
"J.D. was born with Periventricular Leukomalacia so he's got brain damage," his mother Bobbie told KTVX. "He's got autism and he's got epilepsy."
"By the time we got to see Santa he had worked himself into such a frenzy it was about 2 seconds of a screaming picture and not so much Holly Jolly Christmas," said Bobbie.
This year, they went to a calm corner of University Place Mall to see a specially trained "Quiet Santa."
"I have to be really quiet, just kind of play some games and some toys myself and try to invite them in," said Quiet Santa. "Usually, 90 percent of the time they warm up and get closer to me and then we have some fun together. They don't have to be so scared of Santa."
"We got to play and I got to tell him what I wanted for Christmas," J.D. said.
You can find the closest sensory-friendly Santa here.
There is one at Memoria City Mall and Katy Mills Mall. You must book in advance.
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Where to find a sensory-friendly Santa for children with autism