Meeting Santa Claus is an exciting time for most children. They can hardly wait to sit in his lap and tell him all the gifts they want under their tree on December 25th. But for some children who struggle with sensory issues, facing the jolly old man is not a jolly experience. That’s why Kids Express Therapy Services is offering a Sensory Santa experience for the second year in a row.
“This event is for children with special needs who would not be able to tolerate a typical Santa experience,” Kids Express Owner/Speech Pathologist Alyssa Conger, SLP-CCC, said. “Siblings are also more than welcome!”
“A sensory-sensitive Santa event is geared toward children with special needs, who may have a difficult time attending similar events that other children enjoy,” says Kids Express Owner/Manager Alyssa Conger, SLP-CCC. “Things like loud noises, long lines, and excessive visual stimulation can trigger meltdowns in children who cannot process sensory information the same way we do. Our event is by appointment only, which eliminates long lines, and reduces over-stimulating noises and sights. We will also be providing devices for communication in the event that children have difficulty telling Santa what they want.”
“Many children are afraid of Santa at first, and that is not unusual, but for the kiddos with sensory issues, the entire process may be problematic before they even see the big guy in red,” Conger adds. “Bright lights in a shopping mall, the smell of foods in the food court, lines and crowds of people wearing brightly colored clothes and too much perfume; children crying or pressing into their personal space, etc. can be powerfully overwhelming to them.”
The Sensory Santa Christmas will be held December 9 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Kids Express Therapy. It’s located at 612 Congress Blvd, Suite C, the former offices of dentist Dr. Duke. However, families must sign-up in advance to meet Old Saint Nick.
The purpose of making an appointment is to prevent long lines. Children who have difficulty with sensory processing often get over-stimulated with waiting in line.
To sign up for the free meet and greet with Santa, go to the Facebook page using the QR code or the link provided below. If you have any questions, please contact the office at 615-697-3442.