Kids with autism visiting Santa is just what NJ needs to see
He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good. Heck, even parents don’t see kids when they’re sleeping. So if anyone knows a child as well as their mom and dad it’s Santa Claus.
Well, here in New Jersey we have the highest rates of autism in the United States. Some estimates say 1 in every 32 children has the developmental disorder. As a father of two young boys with autism, I know how hard it can be for these kids to make friends, for these kids to feel good about themselves.
That’s why I want to leave the year off on a high note. This is the last article I’m writing for 2021 and I hope other autism families out there and even families with neurotypical kids can get some hope. We’ve seen these kids get mocked, talked about behind their backs and right in front of them in the nastiest ways by total ignorant strangers. So seeing how Santa interacts with the kids in the following videos shows human kindness is still in fashion.
This first one is the story of little Landon whose autism makes him misbehave at times against his will. He was worried at Christmas that his inability to control his behavior would put him on the naughty list. Watch this story of what happens when he confides this to Santa Claus.
Here’s one that shows what Santa did when a little kid with autism was too overwhelmed to sit on his lap or even come to him. He wanted to be somewhat in his own world playing on the floor. Like the magical Mr. Claus he is, watch Santa go to him and join him in HIS world.
Here’s one of a special connection between Santa and a 9-year-old boy who is both blind and has autism.
An 8-year-old boy with autism had been waiting to meet Santa since he was 2. His autism causes him extreme anxiety. When he thought he could finally go through with it, he was wrong. He stayed back far away while his sister went up to Santa. But watch what Santa does when he’s done with her.
This last one shows a Santa who himself has autism and makes sure kids can have a Santa experience that he never could. Kerry Magro is a famous author and public speaker yet with his autism he was nonverbal as a child. He’s done Ted Talks and traveled the country but here he just wants to make children with autism happy and comfortable.
I know autism is exhausting and stressful. But it also lets us see the world in a different way if we let it in. These kids need us. Hard as it may be raising a child on the spectrum, it can be a miracle of sorts. These kids show us who we are and rethink our priorities for the better. As much extra attention as they need from you, you might just find you learn so much about yourself that you needed them even more.
Merry Christmas and may your new year be a happy one.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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