Congratulations to those who helped make Sunday morning's special outing with Santa a reality at Grand Central Mall.
Meetings with the Sensitive Santa were available to children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) a broad term for children with a neurological disorder causing difficulties with taking in, processing, and responding to sensory information about the environment around them and from within one's own body For example, simple sounds can be perceived as huge blows to the ears of kids with SPD.
That's how life can be for children with one of the SPD disorders. Every day can be a bewildering challenge. Their reactions can seem confusing to many others. Children with SPD sometimes display out-of-the ordinary behavior such as taking excessive risks like crashing into anything they can, an inability to do puzzles, or crying or covering their ears with every loud sound - even vacuums, toilets or hair dryers.
The Sensitive Santa idea provides a safe haven for SPD-affected children. Santa visits were available before the mall filled with the hubbub of holiday shoppers. Also, lights were turned down to eliminate a potential for sensory overload.
We hope the Sensitive Santa idea continues, thanks to Jane Stephens, executive director with the Wood County Society that serves local children and adults with disabilities. We're sure parents of these children appreciate the effort too. We hope the idea will spread to give more children a chance to enjoy the holiday season's big guy in the red suit.