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My Autistic Son Spends a Magical Moment with Santa

Photo: John Riggs
Our local Children’s Village hosts a Christmas-type party every year that features arts and crafts, games and Santa is there with gifts for everyone. My autistic son, who doesn’t like to be around strangers or like to be held, found something about Santa that made him pull up a seat right by his side.

As you may or may not know, my four-year-old son, Jaron, is autistic and receives services from Children’s Village. My whole family went as we have the past two years and had a great time. My two girls love Santa, but my son, four-years-old and autistic, started to fuss a bit and want to do his own thing. That usually means he pulls his hand away from us, has a seat and rocks himself for comfort. After my girls got their picture taken with Santa, we started to walk away, knowing our son wouldn’t want to have anything to do with Santa or get his picture taken.

As we were walking away, our son pulled away from our vice grip-like hand grasp, walked over to where Santa was and started to pull himself up on the bench next to him. My wife burst into tears and I started taking as many pictures as I could. I was able to grab three – this was the best. My son, actually resting his hand on Santa’s lap. It truly was a Christmas miracle.

This picture will be engrained as my favorite Christmas picture of all time in our family for the rest of our lives. I thought I’d share.

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