On December 13, 2017, The Autism Center at Ontario ARC hosted its 3rd annual Sensitive Santa Evening. The festive event was geared toward kids and adults with autism looking to visit with Santa in a calm, sensory-friendly setting.
Over 30 kids and adults of all ages from across our community came to see Santa, some even shared their Christmas lists with him.
“Children and families were able to take their time visiting and interacting with Santa and his two elves. We had soft music playing in a large area where children were able to move,” said Diane Van Derwater, Autism and Wellness Manager at Ontario ARC. This sensory-friendly setting lessened the anxiety children often feel when going to see Santa in a larger group or mall setting where the stress from waiting in line sometimes forces families to leave without seeing Santa at all.
Everyone who visited left with a smile and a small gift from St. Nick himself.