Children will have the opportunity to meet Santa and his helpers, who are experienced in interacting with children with autism.
Autism Live, The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, and We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym have partnered again this holiday season to host a special event for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Children who attend the Autism Live Sensitive Santa event will meet Santa, have their photos taken, and receive a wrapped toy, while also getting the opportunity to explore uniquely ASD-friendly gym equipment.
This year’s event will kick off on Thursday December 5th, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym, 5520 Crebs Avenue, Tarzana, California. The event will continue on Friday, December 6th, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday December 7th, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. While on-site, children will be able to play on unique sensory gym equipment, have a private sensory friendly visit with Santa, and receive a premium wrapped toy from a top toy company. Interested families can register to participate in this FREE event by visiting https://www.eventbrite.com/e/autism-lives-sensitive-santa-event-tickets-76813789111.
Approximately 1 in 59 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.
Spending time with Santa can be a challenge for children with autism spectrum disorder and their families according to Shannon Penrod, host of Autism Live and the mother of a child diagnosed with autism. “These youngsters can be overwhelmed with sensory issues such as lights, waiting in line and being placed on Santa’s lap. Even Santa’s beard and his jolly ‘ho, ho, ho’ can be intimidating,” explains Penrod. “An experience that is a joy to a typical child could cause a meltdown in those with autism.”
At Autism Live’s Sensitive Santa event, Santa and his helpers are experts in interacting with children on the spectrum and know behavioral techniques to help keep children calm and attentive during their visit. Behavior therapists from the Center for Autism and Related Disorders are on hand to support families and help every child access the fun. Instead of waiting in line, children play in the sensory gym which sets the entire family up for a successful Santa visit.
“This is one of our favorite days of the year,” says We Rock the Spectrum founder and CEO, Dina Kimmel, “The kids light up the second they see Santa. The parents feel comfort knowing their children are in a safe and accepting environment. We are so proud to host something so magical with our friends at Autism Live.”
The high quality toys that will be given away are featured on Autism Live’s Festival of Toys throughout the month of December and are chosen based upon quality and how they help children on the spectrum build skills and make progress toward achieving their goals. “The reality is that many children on the autism spectrum don’t know how to play or don’t enjoy it,” states Penrod. “You know you are doing something amazing when you get a great toy and use it to help a child grow and have fun!” Some of the manufacturers donating toys to the event and featured on Festival of Toys are PopOhVer®, OSMO, Think Fun, Endless Games, Imperial Toys, Craftastic® (Ann Williams Group) and more! To view Autism Live’s 2019 Toy & Gift Guide visit http://www.autism-live.com/ToyGuide.
Autism Live, We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym, The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), and My Brother Rocks the Spectrum all participate in making Autism Live’s Sensitive Santa a reality.
Autism Live is an interactive webshow providing support, resources, information, facts, entertainment and inspiration to parents, teachers and practitioners working with children on the Autism Spectrum. With live and recorded programing Monday through Friday Autism Live is the most watched program dedicated solely to the larger Autism Community. For more information, visit http://www.autism-live.com.
We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym is committed to providing a safe, nurturing, and fun environment to foster learning, exploration and safe sensory experiences. Through their nonprofit, My Brother Rocks The Spectrum Foundation, they provide social skills groups and activities for children across the spectrum. We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym provides children with a fun and motivational environment to help them in the areas of strength, movement, sensory processing, communication, positive behavior modification, social interactions, and self-care skills. Their unique equipment assists all children in their neurological growth and development.provides children with a safe, nurturing, fun and motivational environment to help them in the areas of strength, movement, sensory processing, communication, positive behavior modification, social interactions, and self-care skills. Its unique equipment assists all children in their neurological growth and development. For more information, visit https://www.werockthespectrumkidsgym.com.
Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) treats individuals of all ages who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at treatment centers around the globe. CARD was founded in 1990 by leading autism expert and clinical psychologist Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D. CARD treats individuals with ASD using the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), which is empirically proven to be the most effective method for treating individuals with ASD and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Surgeon General. CARD employs a dedicated team of trained professionals across the nation and internationally. For more information, visit https://www.centerforautism.com.