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December 10, 2021

Santa Makes Fun of Girl with Autism, So Her Mom Steps up to Spread Awareness

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When Santa asked a young autistic girl what her hands were doing, her mother was shocked. She didn't expect Santa Claus, of all people, to snicker at her daughter. The concerned mom then wrote a letter to Santa.

With the holiday season around the corner, we can't wait to engage in our favorite ritual of giving and receiving gifts. However, when we talk about the festive season, Christmas and New year immediately remind us of one universally popular personality.

You guessed it right; we are talking about Santa Claus. Undoubtedly, Santa is loved by children and adults alike. However, after reading a mother's story about her daughter meeting Saint Nicholas, you might feel a little blue.

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[Left] The autistic siblings pictured with Santa. [Right] The blogger mom poses with her autistic daughter. | Photo: facebook.com/TinklesHerPants

MEETING SANTA

A woman who runs a personal blog on Facebook called "Tinkles Her Pants" shared a detailed story about her family running into Santa on December 2. But her experience wasn't as delightful as she expected. 

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She shared how her children had waited all year to sit with Kris Kringle and couldn't contain their excitement. So, when her daughter sat beside her favorite person, her hands started flapping and fluttering with happiness. 

The woman has two autistic children, a boy and a girl. She shared she expected someone like Santa Claus to offer a safe place to her kids instead of making fun of their neurological differences. 

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AN ODD QUESTION

On the contrary, Santa asked her if her daughter always flapped her hands. He turned to the little girl and asked what her hands were doing. The young child was clueless and stared blankly at him. 

Moreover, the lights will be tweaked, music will be lowered, and crowds will be limited to allow kids to meet and greet Santa in a soothing environment.

The mom of two shared that her daughter's flapping was called "stimming." She said her girl didn't know about her neurodiversity, and she flapped her hands to express her joy. 

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MESSAGE FOR SANTA

The upset mother said her daughter's expression was an extension of her beautiful heart. It wasn't something she should feel embarrassed for. Further, she stated: 

"Santa, I want you to know I’m not upset with you. You’re not the first person to look at my family and snicker or stare. But my job as her mother is to increase empathy, so ‘tis the season to spread a little awareness."

Drawing strength from her experience, the blogger mom advised and pleaded to Santa to believe in kids the way they believed in him. She shed light on children hurting from the inside due to broken homes, drug-abused families, and various disabilities. 

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GIVING UP ON SANTA'S MAGIC

The heartbroken mom shared that her seven-year-old girl might stop believing in Santa's magic after her experience. She told Santa that the next time he met a child like her daughter, he should consider her "beautiful," not "bizarre." She also expressed: 

"You are a beacon of hope, Santa. You are someone who shows up, opens their arms, and says, “Come sit with me.” That’s the gift of acceptance—something many families with autism often don’t receive."

In the end, she reminded Kris Kringle that only a few people were fortunate to celebrate joy by "flapping it out loud." Her blog post on Facebook was shared on December 2 and has amassed around 628 reactions, 58 comments, and 98 shares. 

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Netizens react to the blogger's Facebook post about her kids meeting Santa. | Photo: facebook.com/TinklesHerPants

SANTA CARES 

While the mother of two autistic kids had an unpleasant experience meeting Santa, there are places where this famous historic character treats children with care. 

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The non-profit organization Autism Speaks has partnered with Cherry Hills Programs to hold "Santa Cares" days in malls across the U.S. Under this campaign, malls will open early and be less crowded.

Moreover, the lights will be tweaked, music will be lowered, and crowds will be limited to allow kids to meet and greet Santa in a soothing environment. Santa will lay on the ground or stand behind his chair to make each child comfortable. 

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Autism Speaks, and Cherry Hills Programs have been organizing "Santa Cares" since 2015, and the event has become a massive success over time. Valerie Paradiz, the Vice President of Services and Supports at Autism Speaks, shared: 

"Our goal is to create a more inclusive world for people with autism, and events like this make such a meaningful impact in helping families feel comfortable, understood and accepted."

Cherry Hills also holds "Bunny Cares" during Easter. Together, "Santa Cares" and "Bunny Cares" benefit Autism Speaks. Indeed, these organizations are doing a remarkable job of spreading positivity and love during the holiday season. 

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Had the blogger mom's autistic daughter received the same care from Santa, she would have forever cherished her wonderful experience. We hope Santa Claus can continue to spread hope and acceptance this Christmas and beyond.

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