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Coastal Grand Mall holds first ever sensory friendly holiday event
05 December 2017, 02:30 | Rex Hubbard
Two kids posing with Santa at West County Center. Credit KMOV
The report says it's unknown who took the full Santa Claus suit and an extra hat from a back room at the mall.
Many families who attended the event say they don't often go to the mall because of the crowds and loud noises, but this event let them get the experience of Christmas shopping without the chaos. That tradition of taking a picture with Santa is sometimes easier said than done.
"To keep him settled is the main thing, and [with] this we could get in and waited, like, two minutes or so.it was great, " he added.
"I do think that it does create an awareness for families that have special needs and just the general public that may not know what it's all about", said Kat Stark, Marketing Director for the Rushmore Mall.
"I'm so grateful Santa Cares was brought to the community".
Coastal Grand Mall teamed up with Autism Speaks, Champion Autism Network, Cherry Hill Programs and The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce to organize the sensory friendly experience. "He needs a lit bit more calm so we thought that would be good to do on Sunday morning". We are just aware of all of those sensory overloads, so there is not that pressure of stand in the line, be quiet, and don't touch anything.
Parent Melody O'mary says, "every year we come, Aaliyah's very distracted and she can't focus with everybody in line".
Clark was able to set up an appointment and get his son in to visit Santa within a couple of minutes, much different than a visit during regular mall hours. "It really is eye-opening".
In all, about thirty families were able to take pictures with Santa during Sunday's event.
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