Autistic children have one-on-one time with Santa at Crabtree ma - WNCN: News, Weather

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Autistic children have one-on-one time with Santa at Crabtree mall

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Santa made an appearance at Crabtree Valley Mall Sunday outside of mall hours.

The mall opened its doors for children with autism to give them "sensory friendly" time with the big man in red. The mall dimmed it lights and provided a quieter environment for those children with special needs.

"Children dream for a chance to sit on Santa's lap, tell him their Christmas wishes and have their picture taken by one of his helpers," said Spare Some for Autism Executive Director Beth Jarvis.

"This holiday experience might come easily to most children, but for children with [Autism Spectrum Disorder], the traditional atmosphere is overwhelming and stressful."

Instead of just waiting in line, Lego and letter writing stations were set up to keep the kids interacting with adults and each other.

The North Carolina State Women's Gymnastic Team was also on hand as Santa's Helpers to assist at the event.

The event was organized by Spare Some for Autism.

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