Autism is a difficult condition for many people to understand. Mostly because a single word covers so much. There is no one behavior or personality trait where someone can say, “Yep, that’s autism.” There are of course many behaviors and personality traits commonly associated with people on the autistic spectrum, and a sensitivity to light, sound, or just the overwhelming chaos of a place like a busy shopping mall is one of them. For children living with this sensitivity, a simple joy like getting to visit Santa at the mall can be an insurmountable challenge.
That’s why the Simon Property Group teamed up with Autism Speaks and Ability Path to implement “Caring Santa,” a quieter, calmer version of Santa’s workshop that occurs in the hours before the 120 Simon malls around the country open for the day. It’s a wonderful solution to accommodate these beautiful kids and their unique needs.