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Northpark Mall Joins Autism Speaks for a Santa Photo Experience - KOAM TV 7

Northpark Mall Joins Autism Speaks for a Santa Photo Experience

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Northpark Mall is a quiet as a mouse, a perfect time for kids like Collin to get his picture taken with Santa.

"I took my son to visit Santa. It is a low sensory experience for children with autism with other special disabilities. This is the first time he would talk to Santa and actually sit on his lap" says Whitney Wardlow. 

It's an experience every family should have.
"Children with autism, they become over stimulated in highlighted loud talking environments. And without this event, my son would never get to speak to Santa like other children" says Wardlow.

"Everybody can remember back to when they were kids to listening to it and seeing photos from when they were children sitting on Santa's lap and you can kind of see how they've evolved over the years" says Joan Ghan from Northpark Mall.

But that experience can be difficult to make happen for some.

"Just to have one child with special needs is a struggle..but for us to have three..it gets over whelming a lot. It's hard for us to take them out" says Jayme Harper, who brought her triplet daughters. 

It was a magical morning for kids who believe.

"The girls love that Santa is so busy, but he found time for them" says Harper.

So in years to come, when families look back on their holiday photos, they can remember a good day with snacks, family and Santa.

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