“Caring Santa” caters to children with special needs


Staff report

The Fashion Mall will host a “Caring Santa” event welcoming children with special needs to a photo environment that supports their sensory, physical and developmental needs.

The sensory-friendly event is designed to take place prior to regular mall hours to lessen behavioral triggers associated with malls at this bustling season of the year.

This environment is likely to include:

● Turning off in-mall music, stopping escalators located near the Santa set, dimming the lights and shutting down fountains during the duration of the event.

● Eliminating queue lines through the use of a numbering system whereby guests approach the set when their number is called.

● Special activities and stories geared toward the needs of the child during the “wait” period to help the child understand what activities will occur during the visit.

AbilityPath helps sponsor the event.

Sheryl Young, CEO of AbilityPath said, “That moment when a child gets to meet Santa is a magical one, and every child should get to have this magical moment. Unfortunately, many children with special needs have never had this opportunity. The hustle and bustle of the malls can be overwhelming to the children and their families.”

“Caring Santa” will be conducted from 10:30 a.m. to noon Dec. 8 in the Nordstrom Court at the Fashion Mall, 8702 Keystone Crossing in Indianapolis.

For more information call 684-7711.


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