Centria Autism Services to Host “Special Needs Santa” at Fairlane Town Center
Free Holiday Event to Provide Sensory-Friendly Accommodations for Children with Autism
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families are invited to meet Santa in a safe and sensory-friendly environment. The festivities are part of a Special Needs Santa event, which will take place on Sunday, Dec. 17 from 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at the Fairlane Town Center in Dearborn. The event will be hosted by Centria Autism Services, the nation’s largest provider of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy for children with autism.
Sensory overload is a common problem for many children with autism, making it difficult for them to participate in everyday experiences, like meeting Santa. To address this, Special Needs Santa will be trained to avoid loud noises and sudden movements, and will ask direct questions instead of open-ended questions. Additionally, the winter wonderland setting itself will be adjusted so that there are no loud noises or flashing lights.
“We want to make sure that children of all abilities get to have that special moment with Santa,” said Scott Barry, CEO of Centria Healthcare. “We look forward to this event every year, because we know that having this experience will create a lifetime of memories.”
This event is FREE and open to the public, but please be sure to RSVP here ahead of time. Looking forward to seeing you there!
About Autism: Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – Autism Spectrum Disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 45 children in the United States is on the autism spectrum, a 1,000 percent increase in the past 40 years that is partly explained by improved diagnosis and greater awareness.
Centria Healthcare is a leading provider of home-based catastrophic injury and rehabilitation services, private duty nursing, supportive living services, and Applied Behavior Analysis therapy for children with autism. With more than 1,800 trained clinical staff members throughout the state of Michigan, Centria provides much needed support to families living with autism, from pre-diagnosis options to treatment planning to direct therapy services.