Unique event gives children with special needs chance to meet Santa

By Alison Darany, Assignment Editor
Published On: Dec 08 2013 02:58:47 PM EST
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -

Briarwood Mall is holding a unique holiday event for children with special needs.   

The Caring Santa event provides a subdued environment where the children can enjoy a magical and comfortable visit with Santa. The program takes special steps like turning off in-mall music, dimming lights, stopping escalators, shutting off fountains and using a special number system instead of a line.

Caring Santa is developed by Simon Property Group, Inc. with help from special needs online resource hub, AbilityPath.org.

"Last year, we saw families who received a Santa photo with their child for the very first time," said Sheryl Young, CEO of AbilityPath.org. "We are fortunate to have terrific alliances with Simon and their photo operators who have worked with us to lessen potential triggers, like having the event occur during private mall hours and other slight adjustments that help provide a calmer sensory-friendly environment for all children to enjoy."

The event takes place Monday at 9 a.m. at Briarwood Mall. Participants are asked to RSVP by going to www.AbilityPath.org.

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