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Martinez, GA: 40 families visit "Sensory Santa" at local church

Nov 26, 2023, WJBF, Martinez, GA: Sensory Santa gives special needs children an extra special gift

As the countdown to Christmas begins, the wait is over for these kids to have a special moment with Saint Nick.

Every year, children and families stand in long lines to see the big man dressed in red–but for special needs children the experience can just be too overwhelming.

“Providing an opportunity for kids to feel safe and welcome and treated with respect–every kid wants that,” said David Quebedeaux, or otherwise known as Santa Claus.

And that safe environment is exactly what was on hand Sunday.

Close to 40 families with special needs children got to meet Santa in a space with no bright lights or music–making a comfortable experience for everyone.

“Mrs. Claus and I decided last year to come here, and meet with some of those families that maybe can’t handle the big experience where you have to wait in line, bright lights, sounds, and smells. And it was just wonderful.”

The Church of the Holy Comforter hosted the event that went from Noon until 6 PM, where families got to register for a free 10-minute photo session with Santa.

Along with the absence of music and no overly bright lights, the sensory staff provided bean bag chairs, plenty of toys to play with, and even a place to write Santa Claus a letter….

“For them to come and be understood, and loved and not told no–they can play with anything in the room, it’s quiet, it’s safe, and we accept them–they come with their parents who are quite tired, and we just want them to know that they are loved.”…

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