Sensory-friendly Santa to visit kids with autism, other special needs at Regency Square

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Kids who are on the autism spectrum or hearing impaired will have the opportunity to meet with a sensory-friendly Santa at Regency Square this weekend.

The special event will take place after mall hours at a time without excessive noise and sensory overload unlike the traditional hustle and bustle of a mall setting during the holiday season. It will provide kids a two-hour window to meet and chat with Santa and his special Signing Elf and take photos with them.

A local actress and ASL interpreter, Dawn Westbrook-Boyd, will be on site assisting Santa with communicating messages to kids who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

There is also an area that will provide books and crayons for families who want a place to gradually prepare for Santa’s visit.

“We want to remove the stress that visiting Santa can create for some children and allow them to have a positive holiday experience in an inviting environment,” says Regency General Manager Steven Bonniville said.

The event will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Sunday, December 10. Reservations are encouraged, but not necessary. To schedule a time to meet with Santa, call (804) 740-1518 anytime from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

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