Santa Cares brings comfort to parents with special needs children

Santa Cares brings comfort to parents with special needs children

Santa Cares brings comfort to parents with special needs children

Santa's that working with the Caring Santa program are trained to interact with children who have special needs and almost 400 sensory-friendly Santa experiences will happen nationwide this year.

"We were able to pick a time, come down, and they had stuff for them to do while they were waiting".

"I'm so grateful Santa Cares was brought to the community". Cherryvale Mall set out to make a sensory friendly and calming environment for families with special needs children - all in an effort to make for a smooth trip to see the big man.

"He doesn't like crowds", said parent Angie Flannery.

On Sunday, the mall opened two hours early to provide a quiet atmosphere for children to meet with Santa.

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According to, Santa Cares is a sensory-friendly Santa photo experience in partnership with Cherry Hill Programs.

Breanne Hartfield, a parent, says she found out about the event through Facebook and couldn't pass up the opportunity.

"It could mean just not being able to cope at all - lots of screaming and yelling and not being physically able to be in that environment. Sometimes we have to miss out on things that we just can't do without these opportunities".

"Since ive been here, I've seen the same families come for upwards of six years so it's really nice to see they're creating the memory year after year with us here at the mall", said Stephanie Blavat-Vesely, Bay Park Square Mall.

Jan Smith says certain noises can upset her son Caleb, so being able to skip long lines made the visit with Santa even more special.

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