The Sensitive Santa program will be running again this year at Orchard Park Mall.
Quincy and I are honored to bring back the Sensitive Santa visits. With the help of Orchard Park Mall and Autism Okanagan, these precious Santa visits are treasured memories. Sensitive Santa is a private one on one visit for children who have sensory sensitivities. The hustle and bustle of the mall at Christmas time would normally overwhelm children on the specturm. These visits make it possible for childen with Autism to enjoy this time honored event.
Our 8 year old son Paxton has Autism. It is difficult for him to enjoy a visit with Santa when there are crowds of people, bright lights and loud music. Five years ago after a stressful attempt to visit Santa at the mall, we came up with idea of Sensitive Santa.
The elements that would make a Santa visit a disaster for us, we now control with the help of Orchard Park Mall.
Sensitive Santa visits are a success because we:
- After hours-in order to ensure no large crowds
- Each visit by appointment only- so every family doesn’t have to wait in line and has 5 minutes of privacy
- Turn off the music and dim the lights- to ensure sensory sensitive environment
We controll the environment, therefore it has created priceless moments with families. Before the Sensitive Santa program, these families have not been able to step foot in the mall. Let alone to visit Santa at Christmas time.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (known as ASD) is range of conditions. They are characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. In Canada, 1 in 68 children are currently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. This makes Autism the fastest growing and most commonly diagnosed neurological disorder in Canada.
Quincy and I hope to be able to bring more programs like Sensitive Santa to the Okanagan. When I am not selling real estate, I am working with Autism Okanagan. I am proud to be the acting president for the board of directors. I am growing awareness in the community and increase activities for families living with a loved one on the Autism spectrum.
Dates for this year are December 2nd, December 9th and December 16th.
To register for Sensitive Santa visit http://sensitivesantaokanagan.ca/register/