The Pervasive Parenting Center will present Sensitive Santa throughout eastern Oklahoma. This is an opportunity for anyone with sensory issues or disabilities to meet Santa without standing in the long lines.


For some families with children on the autism spectrum, or with other sensory problems, the holiday season can be overwhelming. The long lines at stores to get a couple seconds with Santa, which may or may not work out, can be frustrating for a child with autism and the families.


There is an alternative to those lines and hotbeds for meltdowns. The Pervasive Parenting Center will be holding Sensitive Santa. The event is a great way for children with disabilities and sensory issues to enjoy the holiday season.


“Any parent of a child on the spectrum knows that waiting in those long lines is just an invitation to a meltdown. The sights, smells, and long delay can cause a sensory overload that will leave a bad impression of Christmas. Children with disabilities who attend can enjoy a quiet evening with Santa, and don’t have to wait in lines,” said Kodey Toney, Pervasive Parenting Center Director. “This is the seventh year that we have held the event.”


Toney went on to say that Sensitive Santa is soft spoken, unlike the boisterous, jolly soul that we see at the mall. The stereotypical reproduction of the real man from the north is usually too much for a neurotypical child to handle, much less someone that is easily upset by loud sounds. He won’t touch the children unless they come up to him. They don’t have to sit in his lap unless they want to.


“This has been such a blessing for us to sponsor,” said Toney. “Every year we see children interact with Santa that wouldn’t typically get a chance to, and Santa is so patient.”


The children are treated to milk and cookies while they wait, there are games and activities, and someone is on hand to read a book as well. This gives them something to do instead of standing around in a long line.


Santa will be at the Senior Citizen’s Center in Wilburton on Tuesday, Dec. 4; Carl Albert State College in Sallisaw on Thursday, Dec. 6; Kibois Community Action building in Stigler on Tuesday, Dec. 11; and Carl Albert State College in Poteau, on Thursday, Dec. 13. These events will begin at 6 p.m. each night. The event is held by appointment only to help with crowding.


Sensitive Santa is open to ALL children with disabilities, not just those on the spectrum. We understand that not all children will feel comfortable around huge crowds, and it’s inconvenient to wait in line with any type of disability. The only thing we ask is that this is for just the children with disabilities; no siblings. Too many children can mean too many distractions.


If you want more information, or to make an appointment, please contact us at ktoney@pervasiveparentingcenter.org, or 918-647-1255 contact us on Facebook at Pervasive Parenting Center.


Wilburton, Stigler, Sallisaw, Poteau


Dec. 4, 6, 11, 13@ 6 p.m.


Kodey Toney


Phone: (918) 647-1255


ktoney@pervasiveparentingcenter.org


Pervasive Parenting Center