OMAHA – Each holiday season, Autism Society of Nebraska (ASN) presents a “Sensory Santa” event at Countryside Village in Omaha. The shopping center offers this annual private event exclusive to people affiliated with ASN before they officially open their Santa experience to the public.
The event allows children on the spectrum to interact with “Santa” in a quiet, low-stimulus environment without the long lines, bright lights, and loud noises that so often characterize children’s
encounters with “Santa” (and his elves) at malls, shopping centers, and other retail settings.
The “Sensory Santa” event is focused on making children on the spectrum comfortable and allowing them to experience an encounter with a friendly character during the holiday season in a setting that is not fraught with what for many children are stressful environmental elements.
Julie Czepa, Vice-President of ASN’s Board of Directors, says, “Events like ‘Sensory Santa’ are sweet reminders of why we give so much time and heart to ASN.”
Julie shared, “One of these boys was very reluctant to go near Santa, so Santa gradually joined him at the marble maze. So many appreciative families who would never get to experience Santa if we didn’t offer this.”
If you have questions about participating in next year’s Sensory Santa event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a gift to ASN in support of events like Sensory Santa, click here.