Sitting on Santa Claus's lap can be be an especially daunting proposition for children who are among the 1.5 million Americans with autism spectrum disorders. However, for many parents, there may be hope this Christmas. The Ohio-based Glimcher Realty Trust — which owns 2 dozen malls nationwide — has recently started working with autism groups to offer "sensitive Santa" sessions at its malls.
Melody Benbow is the Coordinator of Talk About Curing Autism in Cranbury New Jersey. Her five-year-old Calvin is autistic. Santa A. Claus (his legal name) is the host of the "sensitive Santa" sessions at the Jersey Gardens Mall in Elizabeth, New Jersey.