Santa makes special visit for Autistic children

Sensory-friendly visits with Santa reserved for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Crabtree Valley Mall
November 24, 2013 3:28:23 PM PST
A local nonprofit dedicated to helping children with Autism held a Santa event in Raleigh at Crabtree Valley Mall on Sunday.

Two hours before the mall opened, Spare Some for Autism invited children with Autism and their families to come see Santa.

Event organizers included several sensory-friendly details including dimmer lights and quieter surroundings to accommodate the special-needs children.  In addition to Santa and his helpers, there was coloring, craft making, Lego stations, and letter writing to Santa.

"Children dream for a chance to sit on Santa's lap, tell him their Christmas wishes and have their picture taken by one of his helpers. This holiday experience might come easily to most children, but for children with ASD, the traditional atmosphere is overwhelming and stressful. Our goal for this event is to provide a chance for ASD children to visit with Santa in a sensory-friendly environment," said Beth Jarvis, Executive Director of Spare Some for Autism.

Spare Some for Autism was founded in Raleigh by Beth Jarvis, a local CEO and mother of an autistic daughter. The nonprofit organization's mission is to improve the quality of life for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. For more information on Spare Some for Autism, call (919) 844-1960 or visit

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