Parents of an autistic child know that the long lines, pulsating and twinkling lights and loud noises can be overwhelming for their child – even unbearable. If you haven’t heard of this before, this should gladden your spirit at Christmas. I found a story about a sensory-friendly Santa Claus event. articles on autism. The event was sponsored by the Lawyer’s Autism Awareness Foundation in Tampa, Florida. Two Hillsborough County circuit court judges traded off playing the role of the patient jolly man in red. No twinkling lights or loud music were used in ensure that children were comfortable. Appointments were scheduled to ensure each child had one-on-one time with Santa without having to wait in long lines. What a great holiday story! Perhaps a bit late for this year, but I think some of you can make this happen in your locality next year.
One day ago, Derek posted this on Facebook. It is as poignant a statement of what this kind of careless child removal does to a parent as any I have read before.
I am sure that Derek would have loved to take Ayn to one of these sensory-friendly Santas. It’s a difficult season for him. He will be resilient for the sake of the two sons at home with him. They deserve his joy-filled presence and he will deliver.
Are you as intrigued as I am to read in the first paragraph of the Lawyer’s Autism Awareness Foundation in Tampa? How incredibly beneficial that is to families of autistic children, to have a group of informed lawyers available to advise other lawyers and families and represent them well in legal entanglements with child protection agencies that have mistakenly or irresponsibly erred in the administration of their functions. I can only hope for that to develop here and in other localities. You can find the Tampa group on Facebook.
And here is a YouTube story on the foundation. Understandably, it began with lawyers with children with autism.
Another video version of a Michigan Santa is presented in this story. Santa Visits Children with Special Needs.