It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! One special mall Santa went above and beyond to help a young boy with autism take the perfect holiday photo. Read the heartwarming details here.
A Santa Claus participating in a “Caring Santa” event run by Autism Speaks and Noerr Programs in Charlotte, North Carolina, took his job very seriously. When a young autisic boy named Brayden Deely showed up to the event on Nov. 22, he was incredibly timid to meet the jolly ole’ man, until something amazing happened.
It’s a Christmas miracle for Erin Deely. Her young son Brayden, who was diagnosed with autism right before he turned three, has had difficulty taking holiday photos with Santa. “I thought we would never get those holiday pictures with him because it’s something he can’t handle – the noise, and the pressure,” Erin revealed to People. “He gets anxious if you ask him to smile, it’s all too much for him.” Then she found out about this wonderful program that works with the group Autism Speaks. They help bring in special volunteer Santas to do holiday photos at malls all over the country, to give autistic children a much quieter setting.
During the event, Erin recalled that her son was having a difficult time and wouldn’t sit for a picture, until the volunteer Santa stepped in. “Brayden was shy and inched his way over slowly and then Santa just slowly gets out of his seat and gets on the ground and starts playing with the toys that my son brought,” she revealed. The loving Santa laid on the floor with Brayden and the two played with a snow globe. That’s when a photo was quickly snapped during the heartwarming interaction.
Erin continued to say, “Oh my gosh, to be able to do something that other families do…normally a lot of things are harder for us as a family and we got to do the same tradition as everyone else, we just do it on the floor.” So amazing. “I just want to hug this man. He’s so wonderful!” Us too, Erin. Us too.
HollywoodLifers — do you think this Santa went above and beyond? Tell us below!