RIDGELAND Miss. (WJTV) — Santa Claus is making his way from the North Pole to Northpark Mall.
The mall hosted Compassionate Santa, a sensory-friendly event for children with special needs. It allows the kids to meet Santa before shoppers come inside.
“We have calm music, subdued lighting and we do that so that there’s not any overwhelming distractions or overwhelming noises so that kids with special needs can come in and meet with Santa,” Christy Campbell of Northpark Mall.
Shelly Fontanilla said her 3-year-old daughter Savanna does not have special needs, but she brought her because she is extremely shy with others.
“She’s a shy little girl but to see her open up and just get comfortable its just fun,” she said
Compassionate Santa is held in partnership with Autism Speaks, a group bringing awareness to the disability.
We’re told sometimes social interaction for kids with Autism is often a challenge.
“We make sure that we have things here at the mall to meet all members of our communities needs,” Campbell said.
There will be another Compassionate Santa event on December 20th at the mall starting at 8:45 a.m.