|Published:||Dec 12, 2012 7:01 PM EST|
|Updated:||Dec 12, 2012 7:01 PM EST|
The jolly man in the famous red suit made a special stop at the Edison Mall.
Santa is making sure autistic children get what they want for Christmas this year.
He's making his list and checking it twice, traveling all the way from the North Pole to spend time with autistic children.
"With special needs, you have to be a special Santa," says Santa.
Jolly Old Saint Nick has a long list of Christmas duties, but put them on hold to hear what these children want for Christmas.
"Those kids need to be loved just like everybody else and Santa loves all children equally," Santa says.
This visit with Santa was different because the Elves lowered the music, the lights, and started the meet-and-greet early to make each kid comfortable.
"It's nice because you want the typical Christmas pictures with Santa and all your children and that's not always possible, especially with long lines because children with autism do not like to wait in lines, a lot of noise and a lot of chaos," says Kirsten Troyer, whose son has autism.
So, this "Sensitive Santa" is bringing joy and laughter to families who face the challenges that come with autism.
"My son isn't verbal, a lot of times it's difficult to see and know what's going on, but when he smiles and his eyes light up and he's calm, then I know," says Troyer.
"I feel like when they leave, they have accomplished something in their life, because for a lot of them it's a big hurdle to come and sit on santas lap."
- Two dead in Lehigh Acres, LCSO seeking person of interest
- Teacher accused of having relationship with student
- Mandela ceremony interpreter deemed a 'fake'
- Mobile home destroyed in North Fort Myers fire
- No plans to remove wreckage from fatal boat crash
- CCSO: Man threatens to shoot deputy during domestic dispute
- S Fla biologist recovering after rattlesnake bite
- Historic central Fla. house moved on barge
- Fla. man guilty in taxi, food delivery robberies
- Search ends for 2 missing from migrants' raft