For the third year in a row, I took Philip to the Sensitive Santa event at a nearby mall.
What makes it sensitive? The event is held before the mall opens for regular business. That means that not all the lights are on and there’s no Muzak piped in. Only families with autistic children or kids with sensory processing disorder are invited. There are no crowds to fight and there are other activities to entertain the children while they wait for their turn to meet Santa. This included a train ride, a craft project and a snack. Plus, you find yourself surrounded with others that don’t stare or judge if your child behaves out of the norm.
The line was the longest we’ve ever experienced. I guess word is out about this event. Philip did great since he had made a foam snowman ornament before we joined the queue. Playing with this kept him occupied while we waited our turn.
I showed the photo to several coworkers who noted that Philip was leaning away from Santa. They thought he did want to be near him. The truth is that Philip was distracted by the ornaments on the Christmas trees in Santa’s “workshop.” The photographer thought the picture was perfect. Me too.