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I remember the first time I ever saw Santa. It was during the holiday season when my parents had taken me out to do some Christmas shopping at our local mall. I was a 5-year-old, just newly diagnosed with autism, and I was completely terrified. I remember the loud music, the crowded lines and the overload I was feeling. I can still remember what upset me most. We left before I could meet Santa. I had no picture with Santa because I was completely overwhelmed and we had to go.

Today I’m hoping to give children with autism the opportunity to do something I didn’t have the chance to do as a kid. That’s why I decided to start an Autism-Friendly Day for our community as part of a four-day Santa Elf Factory event in New Jersey on December 13 to give children with autism the chance to meet Santa in a sensory-friendly environment.

Learn more and read the rest of this post on Autism Speaks.

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