Visit Sensitive Santa this Christmas
Every year Christmas seems to come earlier, we start seeing Christmas trees up in the shops in October as we prepare for the onslaught of the silly season.
As wonderful as this time of year can be, to someone who has autism it can be yet another sensory overload experience which can trigger stress and anxiety leading to the dreaded shopping centre meltdown.
Fortunately, these days there is more understanding in the community surrounding autism and shopping centres are adhering to the needs of people with autism by introducing quiet hour and ‘Sensitive Santa.’
For some parents, being able to take their child to visit a ‘Sensitive Santa’ will be the first time they have been able to have a family photo with the jolly man in red.
The photo sessions are generally held outside of the shopping centres normal opening hours and there is no noise, no crowds, no sensory overload, allowing children with autism (and their parents) to enjoy a quiet and peaceful experience.
You’ll find that Westfield, Eastland and Chadstone are among some of the larger centres which have got on board with this wonderful initiative for the festive season.
If you’re local to the Mornington Peninsula you can pop down to Rosebud Library on Tuesday, 17 December from 4pm until 5pm and tell ‘Sensitive Santa’ what you wish for this Christmas.
Another great initiative for parents and their children is ‘Calm Rooms’ located within some shopping centres. They offer a private and relaxing space for families to pop in and rest for a bit when the shopping experience becomes too much.
For more information about initiatives such as these, and to find out what’s happening in your local area this Christmas: Google ‘Sensitive Santa’ or ‘Calm Rooms’ and have yourself a merry and enjoyable Christmas season.
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay