For some children, a trip to meet Santa Claus at the local mall and rattle off the items on their Christmas list is the highlight of the holiday season. But for children with autism who have trouble handling the sensory overload that comes with such a hectic environment, it can be a fraught experience.
That’s why the Pama Foundation, a Montreal-based organization that provides services to children with autism spectrum disorders and their families, is holding an event they’ve dubbed “Pama Claus,” where kids with can take a picture on Santa’s lap in a quiet, calm setting.
A photo with St. Nick costs $10. There will also be a party for kids that will offer refreshments, holiday treats, face-painting, balloon artists and inflatables. Along with the party, a more quiet play space will also be set up.
Parents who want to attend with their children must sign up on the organization’s website before Nov. 2, 2018. The foundation is also giving away toys specially made for children with autism spectrum disorders. In order to receive a toy, parents must provide proof of diagnosis at registration and show up early the day of the event. The child will be given their toy prior to having their photo taken. Though the event caters to little ones with autism spectrum disorders, it is open to all children.
The festivities take place Dec. 2, 2018 from 2 p.m to 5 p.m. at St. Brendan's Parish Hall, 5740 15th Ave. in Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie.
For more information, visit pamafoundation.org.
Updated October, 2018.