In Montgomery County in Florida, they Dayton Mall set aside one day, November 21st, for their Sensitive Santa event, allowing children with disabilities to meet Santa in a sensory-friendly environment. The event will last from 9 AM to 11 AM, and the kids even get a picture with Santa if they want.
For most children with Autism a visit to the Mall during Christmas time is a sensory overload. Add to that a long wait in line to meet Santa, and the impatience of others in line can increase the anxiety of a child with Autism, leading very quickly to a meltdown.
I find it commendable that the Dayton Mall would set aside a day before the hectic shopping season marked by Black Friday to children with Autism. I hope that others in the community can see this example and duplicate it, making the holiday experience that much more enjoyable for everyone, even those on the spectrum.