JEFFERSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WDVM) — Jefferson County Schools has a new holiday event set up specifically for kids with sensory sensitivity.
The Sensory Santa event is being held at the school system’s central office. The event will make it easier for kids with sensory sensitivity to visit Santa.
“So there was a need in our community to reach kids who the mall Santa just doesn’t work for and we still wanted…we wanted them to have that opportunity to see Santa and to meet their needs and not let it be this overwhelming experience,” said Erica Fisher IEP Compliance Consultant with Jefferson County Schools.
The event is being run through the Jefferson County Schools Parent and Educator Resources Coordinator. The room, where kids will see Santa includes things like dim lights and sensory buckets.
“All students are gonna be given a half an hour time slot so if a student is taking a while to get used to Santa and comes in and you know it takes them 10 minutes just to get in the door or you know they have a meltdown we’re leaving plenty of time for them to kind of get acclimated to the space,” explained Rachel Hardy JCS Parent and Educator Resources Coordinator.
An event like sensory Santa is a game changer for families who have kids with sensory sensitivity.
“For me personally, having a 7 and a half-year-old son with autism, we tend to take him to a sensory Santa that’s out of the state and he doesn’t do well with long drives so to have something that’s within 5 miles of my house where I know he won’t be upset before we get there is just amazing,” said parent Jennifer Stuntz.
Items included in the sensory Santa room were donated by the JCS central office staff as part of their annual community outreach.