Every year lots of children go to different activities where they can get a picture with Santa Clause. It is a really beautiful childhood experience for them, and it makes them think that Santa still exists. The Deelys wanted their son, Brayden, to have the same experience as other children. Brayden’s autism makes it really difficult for him at times to assimilate in a social setting. That is the reason why they took him to the SouthPark mall in Charlotte where a Caring Santa event was taking place.
Even thought all the setting was appropriate for children wish special needs, Brayden was not comfortable with Santa. He refused to take a picture with him, and decided to sit down on the floor. Then the most beautiful thing happened. Santa decided to join Brayden just to make sure that the holiday picture was taken. He thought that since the little boy was not feeling comfortable, he could join and spend a little bit of time under this little boy’s conditions. Pictures were taken when Santa laid down on the floor, and the powerful picture went viral ASAP. Brayden’s parents were really touched from this Santa’s gesture, and this is what his father had to say:
“Social situations get very difficult for him,” said Brayden’s dad, Dan Deely. “Having the ability for us to come in and set up an appointment and give him an experience of a typical child is huge for him and huge for us as parents.”
Since the idea that children with special needs have to spend time with Santa was a partnership between Southpark Mall and Autism Speak here is what Kelli Embler- Autism speaks of the Carolinas had to say:
“It has starting to spread through social media, and families telling other families that’s why the holidays are all about generosity and caring and giving and I think that that puts that magic back in Christmas”
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