Sensitive Santa schedules visits
The Pervasive Parenting Center will present Sensitive Santa in Stigler and other towns in eastern Oklahoma, according to a media release from the non-profit organization.
This is an opportunity for anyone with sensory issues or disabilities to meet Santa without standing in the long lines, the release states.
For some families with children on the autism spectrum, or with other sensory problems, the holiday season can be overwhelming. The long lines at stores to get a couple seconds with Santa, which may or may not work out, can be frustrating for a child with autism and the families.
There is an alternative to those lines and hotbeds for meltdowns. The Pervasive Parenting Center will be holding Sensitive Santa. The event is a great way for children with disabilities and sensory issues to enjoy the holiday season.
“Any parent of a child on the spectrum knows that waiting in those long lines is just an invitation to a meltdown. The sights, smells, and long delay can cause a sensory overload that will leave a bad impression of Christmas. Children with disabilities who attend can enjoy a quiet evening with Santa, and don’t have to wait in lines,” said Kodey Toney, Pervasive Parenting Center director. “This is the seventh year that we have held the event.”
Toney said that Sensitive Santa is soft spoken and he won’t touch the children unless they come up to him. They don’t have to sit in his lap unless they want to, he added.
“This has been such a blessing for us to sponsor,” said Toney. “Every year, we see children interact with Santa that wouldn’t typically get a chance to, and Santa is so patient.”
The children are treated to milk and cookies while they wait, there are games and activities, and someone is on hand to read a book as well. This gives them something to do instead of standing around in a long line, the media release states.
Santa will be at the KIBOIS Community Action building in Stigler at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
He will also be at the Senior Citizen’s Center in Wilburton on Tuesday, Dec. 4; Carl Albert State College in Sallisaw on Thursday, Dec. 6; and Carl Albert State College in Poteau, on Thursday, Dec. 13. These events will begin at 6 p.m. each night. The event is held by appointment only.
Sensitive Santa is open to all children with disabilities, not just those on the spectrum, according to Toney. “The only thing we ask is that this is for just the children with disabilities; no siblings,” he explained.
For more information or to make an appointment, contact Toney at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 918-647-1255. The organization also can be contacted on Facebook at Pervasive Parenting Center.