Coastal Grand Mall holds first ever sensory friendly holiday event

Coastal Grand Mall holds first ever sensory friendly holiday event

Sunday morning at Springfield Town Center Santa welcomed children with special needs for a special sensory-friendly event.

Many families who attended the event say they don't often go to the mall because of the crowds and loud noises, but this event let them get the experience of Christmas shopping without the chaos.

While special accommodations were made for children with special needs, their siblings and family were also welcome. Santa's workshop inside the mall is collecting donations for Autism Speaks through the holiday season. They dimmed the lights and turned the music off to make sure every child was comfortable for their appointment.

"I do think that it does create an awareness for families that have special needs and just the general public that may not know what it's all about", said Kat Stark, Marketing Director for the Rushmore Mall.

Smith says she appreciates any events that specify time for her son Caleb and children like him.

Brett Flannery says "Santa Cares" gave his family the opportunity to do something most people get to enjoy normally. Part of the problem with going out to big events like this is the distraction and that overwhelmed feeling he gets, he gets overstimulated by all the people, and so just the time where it's quiet, and there's not a lot of people, takes a lot of the stress off of us. She says the first time the large crowds and long lines were too much for Jaden.

Organizers said this was Santa's first visit to Saddle Creek.

"I'm so grateful Santa Cares was brought to the community".

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