[Editor’s note: This event has been revised with an added date and sign-up.]
For children on the Autism Spectrum, the phrase “we’re going to the mall!” may as well be “hey, we’re going to stick hot needles in your arm!” The noise, the distraction from water features, escalators, blinding color and light–it adds up to one big overstimulation meltdown.
So, Autism Moms and Dads hoping for a picture of their little dude with Santa Claus know it’s not likely to happen. There’s a movement called the “Quiet Santa” experience where some kindly malls are scheduling time before or after regular business hours where little ones on the Autism Spectrum can come in with less distractions, have a little extra time, and chat with a Santa Claus who understands their particular challenges.
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Sound good so far?
Here along the Wasatch Front, The Outlets at Traverse Mountain immediately agreed to host such an event when The Todd and I approached them. So, this upcoming Friday and Saturday (December 20-21) from 9am to 11am, you’re invited to bring your kiddos on the Autism Spectrum to see a Santa and Mrs. Claus who “get” them. Please schedule a time here to make sure there’s no waiting in line and thus, no meltdowns. (I’m here for you, honey.)
It’s a beautiful, quiet Santa Cottage where kids can relax and color while waiting to see Santa Claus. They want to sit on the floor? No problem. Want to sign to Santa? He understands. No touching but they’d like a candy cane? Go for it. You’re welcome to take pictures and enjoy the moment. This isn’t a “sales promotion,” it’s free and simply offered as a service for the one in 70 kids along the Wasatch Front diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum.