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Sensory friendly time with Santa
05 December 2017, 02:30 | Rodolfo Quinn
Special needs kids get to meet Santa at Bay Park Square Mall
Green Tree Mall in Clarksville is making sure every child has a chance to see Santa, no matter their disability.
"We know that taking a photo with Santa is a valued holiday tradition and we wanted to make that inclusive for all families", says Springfield Town Center Marketing Director Kimberly Baldy. "But we were waiting less than five minutes probably", said Grace.
Many families who attended the event say they don't often go to the mall because of the crowds and loud noises, but this event let them get the experience of Christmas shopping without the chaos.
"He doesn't like crowds and he needs a little bit calmer", said Flannery. So we're excited to start here and make it bigger and better next year. "And without this event, my son would never get to speak to Santa like other children" says Wardlow. It was the first time her family had been able to take a Christmas photo including everyone. "Sometimes we have to miss out on things that we just can't do without these opportunities".
Clark was able to set up an appointment and get his son in to visit Santa within a couple of minutes, much different than a visit during regular mall hours.
"It could mean just not being able to cope at all - lots of screaming and yelling and not being physically able to be in that environment.
Since ive been here, I've seen the same families come for upwards of six years so it's really nice to see they're creating the memory year after year with us here at the mall", said Stephanie Blavat-Vesely, Bay Park Square Mall.
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