Mom Captures Tender Moment Between Mall Santa and Boy With Autism
A mom’s post about her son’s sweet encounter with Santa has touched the hearts of thousands of people.
Naomi Johnson’s son Landon, who she calls “L,” has autism. On a recent trip to the RiverTown Crossings Mall in Grandville, Michigan, L shared an intimate moment with the Santa.
Landon spoke with Santa about his autism and how sometimes people think he’s naughty because of it. Santa reassured Landon and reminded him it’s OK to be who he is.
Read the full text of the post below:
I had an amazing experience with the Santa at the RiverTown Crossings Mall and I want to share my story with you:
My child is amazing! He has his quirks and drives me bonkers, but he is amazing! The other day he went to see Santa with the cousins. He said his peace to the old man in red and walked away. While Aunt Brittany waited for pictures to print, he went back to Santa because he wanted to tell him that he has autism. He was flapping his hands, all excited to let Santa know that he has autism.
Santa sat him next to him and took L’s hands in his and started rubbing them, calming them down. Santa asked L if it bothered him, having Autism. L said yes, sometimes. Then Santa told him it shouldn’t. It shouldn’t bother him to be who he is. L told Santa that sometimes he gets in trouble at school and it’s hard for people to understand that he has autism, and that he’s not a naughty boy. Santa told L to not worry and that he has been a very good boy being who he is.
They sat and chatted for at least five minutes. Santa paid close attention and listened to him. This just melts this momma’s heart! My child is a great advocate for himself. But this day was different. He opened up to this person about who he was and he was accepted. He wasn’t a science experiment, like he gets treated when most people find out he’s autistic. He was Landon, sitting with Santa and being told that it was OK to be himself. Mommy tells him all the time that he’s special and I love him the way he was made, but it’s always nice to hear it from others — to be told that it’s OK to be who he is.
We have met a lot of amazing people in our Autism journey, but this one made the top of the list. Shout out to the Santa at the RiverTown Crossings Mall. You are amazing!
Johnson posted the photo to the mall’s Facebook page along with the story on Sunday, and since then it’s been shared more than 10,000 times.