Making Santa visits easier for kids with autism

So many people love the sights and sounds of Christmas, but for kids on the Autism spectrum, those same sights and sounds can get in the way and be overwhelming, especially for kids who want to visit Santa.

The Park West Mall in Peoria, Arizona is trying to accommodate those children by creating a sensory-quiet experience that still allows them to meet Santa.

"We try to create a winter wonderland for all the kids in the community and so they can come and get in line, and they can take pictures with Santa, and parents can order pictures and bring them home," said John Yee of the Park West Mall.

The organization Autism Speaks also helped create the environment, to make it as inviting as possible.

"Going to the mall, having all the chaos and the lines -- it's hard for any kid, but especially a kid with special needs, it's a little bit more difficult,” said Kerri Mallory-Thompson of Autism Speaks, “The chaos, the lights, the music, just the overwhelming sense … it's very overwhelming for kids so having this opportunity, you know, for the one-on-one calm, quiet, experience for the kids, it's absolutely amazing.”

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