Mall To Host ‘Sensitive Santa®’ Holiday Photo Event For Children With Autism

ELIZABETH – Considering approximately three to six children out of every 1,000 have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it can be difficult for some families to enjoy some of the holiday celebrations and traditions most people take for granted, including simple things like sitting on Santa’s lap in a busy shopping mall.

That is why families touched by ASD are invited to Jersey Gardens on Sunday, Nov. 20, from 9-11 a.m. to celebrate Sensitive Santa®, an event that caters to children with autism and allows them to enjoy one of the holiday’s joyous memories – sitting on Santa’s lap. Pre-registration is required as space is limited. To register, parents can contact Jersey Gardens Marketing Director Crystal Stell at

For the event, the Santa area will become “sensory friendly,” meaning the lights and music will be turned down, staff will be instructed to avoid loud, distracting movements, and the mall will be closed to shoppers.

Jersey Gardens in partnership with Worldwide Photography will also provide each family that attends with a free 4 x 6 photo keepsake to commemorate the holiday season.

“We wanted to create an event that celebrates the spirit of the holiday season and brings a small, but
memorable part of the holiday season to families with autism,” said Stell. “Sensitive Santa® will allow these children to experience the same enjoyment with Santa, but in a much calmer, less intimidating environment.”

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