Caring Santa 2019 is part of an annual Christmas event started by Autism Speaks years ago. The program helps the families of children with special needs see Santa without all the stress. And the heartwarming stories coming out of the event prove what a blessing it is!
We all know the real reason for the season is Jesus. But for families of young children, Christmas also includes the time-honored tradition of a visit with Santa. These photos provide parents with a snapshot of their little ones to treasure for years to come.
But whether at a mall, store, or other location, the long wait times, crowded lines, and noisy atmosphere can prove too much for children with autism and other special needs.
And that’s where Caring Santa 2019 comes in!
What Is Caring Santa?
Founded in 2005 by a couple who were grandparents of a child with autism, Autism Speaks is an organization all about advocating for and helping individuals with autism. And Christmastime is no different!
The special angels of Autism Speaks realized the “hustle and bustle” of Christmas can be especially hard on children with autism. The long wait and noisy crowds are simply too much for those with sensory sensitivities.
So, Autism Speaks set out to create a sensory-friendly, caring Santa experience for the families of children with special needs!
WATCH: Autism Speaks Caring Santa 2019 Explained
The event has been such a blessing to these beautiful families that Autism Speaks has continued the program for years. And Caring Santa 2019 promises to be just as wonderful!
You’re bound to see God at work touching hearts with an inclusion event like this. And one of the most memorable and heartwarming moments involves a caring Santa who got down on the floor with his little visitor!
Santa On The Floor With Boy With Autism
For Erin and Dan Deely, having an event like Caring Santa for their 6-year-old son, Brayden, means the world.
“We would not have Santa pictures otherwise,” Erin said.
And the family’s experience in 2015 went viral after their son’s heartwarming encounter with Santa.
“Social situations get very difficult for him,” Dan explained of his son with autism.
The Caring Santa setting is just what Brayden needed to feel comfortable and safe. The family was able to schedule an appointment, where they got one-on-one time with a specially-trained Santa Clause. That way, Brayden could take his time.
“Having the ability for us to come in and set up an appointment and give him an experience of a typical child is huge for him and huge for us,” Dan explained.
While the traditional mall Santa photos usually show the child in Santa’s lap, it clearly wasn’t going to work for Brayden. So instead, Santa laid down on the floor with the boy with autism.
And the heartwarming photos are a beautiful picture of compassion!
WATCH: Santa’s Compassion For Boy With Autism
As Christians, we talk a lot about meeting people where they are at. And that’s exactly what this caring Santa did. He found a way to be the hands and feet of Jesus to this precious little boy with autism.
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And no doubt, Caring Santa 2019 will only continue to bless families of children with special needs.
To find a Santa Caring event near you, try checking the Autism Speaks event page HERE.
Featured Image: Youtube/Humankind