Sensory Santa event lets kids meet the jolly old elf in less-stressful environment

Posted at 11:20 AM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-21 11:33:08-05

WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- The lines, the crowds, the noise: Taking your child to meet Santa Claus can be an overwhelming experience, especially for kids with special needs.

An event in Butler County will let children meet the jolly old elf in a "sensory-friendly environment."

Instead of waiting in line, therapy "elves" with play with the kids until it's time to meet Santa. And when he's not making toys (nudge nudge, wink wink), this "Santa" is a pediatric physical therapist.

There's no cost to attend ABC Pediatric Therapy's fifth annual Sensory Santa Event, but parents need to RSVP to by Dec. 5.

The event is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec 8 at ABC Pediatric Therapy, 7591 Tylers Place Blvd.

Toys R Us is another business that recognizes the frenetic holiday hustle and bustle can be overwhelming to some kids: At some locations, it's testing "quiet" holiday shopping hours for children with autism.

During "quiet" hours, stores dimmed their lights and had no in-store music or announcements over the public address system. Toys R Us tested the idea at several stores in the United Kingdom this month and has brought the concept to some United States locations.