Mom Finds Out Why Son With Autism Wasn’t Afraid of This One Mall Santa

Santa’s known for being an understanding guy, but we still appreciate when he shows real empathy to the kids who adore him.

Four-year-old Nash Nickerson has been mostly nonverbal until this past August when he began saying a few words. Now, when he sees a Santa, he’ll say, “Santa! Ho, ho, ho!” but his mom, Kristy Nickerson, wasn’t sure if he fully understood what St. Nick was all about. And any Santa in person always scared Nash — until he met the one below.


Last Wednesday when Nash, who has autism, met a Santa at the Tamarack Centre in Cranbrook, British Columbia, he jumped right on his lap. Nickerson didn’t know what made this Santa different but was just moved to see how the two interacted.

“[Nash] couldn’t answer any of Santa’s questions of what he wants for Christmas,” Kristy Nickerson told The Mighty. “But Santa just kept talking to him in a very hushed tone and was so calm and kind.”

As they left, Santa whispered to Nickerson, “Does he have autism?” When she replied yes, he smiled and said, “So does my grandson.”

“In that moment, I knew why my son was so friendly and willing to just sit with this stranger,” Nickerson said. “I also felt so much relief knowing we weren’t being judged and no one was thinking, ‘What’s wrong with that boy?’ He was simply accepted and seen for who he is… a wonderful little boy.”

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

To the Family Waiting in Line for Santa Next to My Special Needs Family

I’ve seen a lot on the Internet lately about the understanding Santa Claus who played on the floor with a child with autism. I’m sure the little boy’s parents were beyond thankful for what Santa Claus did for their child. As a fellow autism parent, I’m grateful for that outstanding Santa Claus. I don’t have [...]

The Gifts Autism Has Brought Our Family

He snuggles in closer, smelling of baby shampoo with a hint of something sweet mixed in. His head still fits perfectly on my shoulder, warm and precious as we read “The Polar Express” for the millionth wonderful time. As I begin to turn the page that will lead the protagonist to the train, he puts [...]

The Prayer a Special Needs Mom Says After Her Child Is Bullied

It’s bedtime in our house. Teeth have been brushed, books have been read and it’s time to turn off the lights and tuck my son, Ben, into bed. Ben prepares to say his nightly prayers. For the past few weeks, his prayers have taken on a new fervor. Tonight is no exception. “God, please help [...]

Twins With Autism Start Business That Will Make Your Christmas Extra Jolly

Mike and Eddie Tuckerman are 18-year-old twin brothers who have autism, and their way of spreading holiday cheer is selling wrapping paper featuring their own original artwork. After learning about the unemployment rate among adults with autism, Sue Tuckerman, Mike and Eddie’s mother, was determined to find a way to keep the boys busy after they [...]