Some local malls offering sensory-friendly Santa event this weekend

Some local malls offering sensory-friendly Santa event this weekend

"Some children with autism can handle the energy of a busy mall around Christmastime, but many others have a hard time tolerating the intense sounds and sights", said Dr. Maureen Barber-Carey, executive vice president at the Barber National Institute.

Oak Park Mall will host a sensory-friendly Santa experience this Sunday, Dec. 3.

"Santa has more time with each child and they're a specialist on hand to be able to make the visit as positive as possible and make it special and memorable for the families", said Molly Mitchell, Marketing Director Parkway Place Mall. Four-year-old Zoe Armantrout was diagnosed with autism two years ago.

"We came to this same exact mall a year ago and we had to leave without seeing Santa".

More than 30 families took advantage of the opportunity.

One great tradition during the holiday season is getting your picture taken with Santa.


Sensitive Santa allows Aiden to meet Santa with out the stress of crowds, loud music and bright lights.

It's a judgment free zone that Aiden's dad, Erick Jordan, said is rare for families who have children with special needs.

"It was a success", Armentrout said.

Parents will receive a number to be called when it is their child's turn to see Santa.

Baldy definitely wants to bring this event back again in 2018 along with other events that cater to this community.

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