This Man With Autism Created Sensory-Friendly Santa Visits for Kids on the Autism Spectrum

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The holidays can be overwhelming for anyone. There’s the bright, twinkling lights engulfing every store and street corner. There’s the music blaring all around, the decorative cups at Starbucks, the pressure to find the perfect gift for your loved ones.

And then, of course, there’s meeting Santa Claus and sitting on his lap. For 29-year-old Kerry Magro, this was always an extremely stressful time.

Magro recently told Huffington Post, “Growing up with autism, I had challenges in meeting Santa in public places because I dealt with a lot of sensory challenges, so giant malls were never really an option for me.” There were all sorts of things that made places like busy shopping centers difficult for a child with autism; the harsh lights and loud music just being a few of them.

And because Magro is truly a wonderful person, he plays Santa Claus himself! Magro started the event three years ago with his nonprofit, KFM Making a Difference.

Margo continued to explain how a sensory-friendly visit with Santa Claus works. First, parents sign their children up for a 30-minute slot, so no one feels rushed.

Magro only allows eight children too sign up for a visit at a time. Not only can they visit with Santa, but they can do arts and crafts as well.

“We don’t want them to feel rushed. We don’t want them to feel overloaded,” Magro said. “We just want to make it a labor of love.” There are also a speech therapist, occupational therapist, and physical therapist on site. Magro has taken great care and detail into planning this experience. There’s a reason why this is so important to him…

Magro himself didn’t speak until he was over 2 years old. It took his parents a long time to get a formal diagnosis, as well.

The Santa visits take place in New Jersey, and Magro credits the local community’s help with the success of the event. The event doesn’t cost anything, but the organization accepts donations.

He also runs a Facebook page called “A Special Community,” where people who are impacted by an autism spectrum diagnosis can share their stories. As a motivational speaker, author, and activist, Magro is using his voice to do everything he can to help others.

In the book, Magro shares his own personal experiences being in love as a person on the autism spectrum. Not only does Magro help children with his Santa event, but through his books, he’s helping adults as well.

He’s helping to create memories for children each Christmas and beyond. To say that he’s inspiring is an understatement.