Peoria, Ill. (WEEK) – Children love seeing Santa Claus as we get closer to Christmas. We’ve all seen long lines at malls to see Santa, so everyone knows it can be stressful.
That experience can be even harder for children and families with special needs who may have anxiety or even panic in line. Northwoods Mall hosted a Sensitive Santa event two hours before stores opened Sunday morning to create a sensory friendly atmosphere.
Lights were turned down and Total Spectrum staff were on hand with toys and crafts to help kids who may be nervous to meet Santa.
“We hear stories of families who have ten year olds and they have never been able to have their kids see Santa,” said Total Spectrum Peoria Clinic Manager Brittany Stone. “It’s something that people with your neurotypical children kind of take for granted sometimes, but it is so important to these families of kiddos with special needs and sensory needs to be able to come out and participate in something like this.”
The next Sensitive Santa session will be December 8 from 9:00 a.m. to 11 a.m. You can register for the event by clicking here.