Autism-Friendly Time with Santa at Millcreek Mall

Posted on November 26th, 2012 at 8:40 PM
Autism-Friendly Time with Santa at Millcreek Mall

Parents and families of children with autism know all too well how difficult and challenging it can be to take a trip to the mall during the holidays. Overcrowded stores, loud music and long lines can complicate the experience even more.  This year, the Barber National Institute and the Millcreek Mall are again offering children with special needs a low-key time with Santa on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 from 10-11:30 a.m.

This event will provide a more relaxed environment for children and families to enjoy their time with Santa.  It will take place outside of regular mall hours and music will be turned off, creating a less stimulating and calmer atmosphere.  Designated waiting areas will be set up with crafts and other activities to occupy youngsters.

“The energy of a busy mall around Christmastime can be overwhelming for all children, but often especially so for children with special needs,” said Dr. Maureen Barber-Carey, executive vice president at the Barber National Institute. “Eliminating some of the stimuli, such as long lines and loud music, will make the experience less stressful for the children and, of course, for the parents.”

While families are not able to take their own photos, a $2 discount coupon will be offered for any families who would like to purchase their child’s photo with Santa.

To make the experience with Santa even more memorable, the Barber National Institute will offer holiday crafts for the children to create.  Information and resources will also be available for parents.

 For more information, please call the Barber National Institute at 878-5903.