Santa, Oak Park Mall provide sensitive Christmas for children wi - KCTV5

Santa, Oak Park Mall provide sensitive Christmas for children with special needs

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Santa Cares will be hosted between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sunday, which gives kids the opportunity to come in before the mall opens. (KCTV5) Santa Cares will be hosted between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sunday, which gives kids the opportunity to come in before the mall opens. (KCTV5)
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

Santa Clause is making sure Christmas is enjoyed by all in 2017.

Saint Nick is teaming up with the Oak Park Mall for the Santa Cares program, an initiative designed to help children with special needs enjoy a meet and greet with Kriss Kringle.

“There’s not going to be a lot of waiting in line or waiting around,” said Elizabeth Mathews of Oak Park Mall. “We’re going to call your name and you’re going to come in and visit Santa, and Santa is fully trained to communicate one on one with these wonderful kids.”

Santa Cares will be hosted between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sunday, which gives kids the opportunity to come in before the mall opens.

The program allows for a controlled environment, limited noise and limited distractions.

Mathews, with Oak Park Mall, says although 2017 is the first year the mall is hosting Santa Cares, it’s important that all families in the community take part in a traditional Christmas experience.

That’s why children on all levels of the autism spectrum are encouraged to sign up.

“Autism is not something kids grow out of, necessarily, so our Santa Cares event, we’re going to bring in a lot of young kids but there will be some teenagers and even some adults that still believe in the magic of Santa,” Mathews said.

Time slots are limited, so anyone who wants to attend will need to sign up as soon as possible.

To sign up, click here.

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