‘Calming Santa’ brings sensory-friendly environment to MacArthur Center

Living Local

NORFOLK, V.a. (WAVY) — For some children going to see Santa can require a more quiet, soothing environment. That’s why EMG Consulting partnered with MacArthur Center again this year to bring “Calming Santa” to families.

Families with children who have sensory needs or physical or developmental needs get the chance to visit Santa and take holiday pictures.

“The mall is closed, the music is turned down and they get a chance to take their time, go through the process and see Santa,” said Elizabeth Matthews with EMG Consulting.

Alister and Emilie Bryson say this experience makes their son feel more at ease.

“Any kind of loud noises can trigger a meltdown and so anytime we can get out and feel somewhat included and normal, for a lack of better term, those opportunities are very helpful for the families especially,” said Alister Bryson

Corey Jones and Diamond Grant say this is their third year coming to the event with their son Jacob.

“Social situations are really hard for him sometimes, but we like to have these special moments and have these photographs, so we really love this event. He feels comfortable, he feels safe, he gets to have fun!” said Diamond Grant.

After families took pictures with Santa, they were able to enjoy some refreshments and arts and crafts.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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