Quiet Santa

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We asked parents to provide us with feedback about their experience with Quiet Santa. 
We are pleased to share the results with you!

It is wonderful to see [our son] come more out of his shell and join our world.  It is events like these that provide a means for us to take him places so he can emerge and yet still feel like we have the support we need. ~Janet B

He loved the playtime while we waited (that alone was a fun filled event for him!) and then loved seeing Santa. We had done a lot of work ahead of time with social story and talking about what we might see and hear and feel when we went to Santa. He opened that door to Santa and *ran* to him to give him a hug and climb on his lap. He sat and stroked Santa’s beard and felt his hat and suit while listening to him talk to him - it was so sweet and I can wait to see the photographs! ~Julie H

I can’t say enough how great it was for [our son] to visit Quiet Santa. He didn’t even have one meltdown or angry outburst. He played quietly until it was his turn. He was then able to enjoy Santa, a real first. ~R.C.

The Quiet Santa experience provided a quiet, no-pressure atmosphere for [our son] and our other 'typical,' but sometimes shy, kids. [Our son] couldn't get close enough to Santa and stared into his glasses and examined his beard... in that moment, my heart was so full because I knew his heart was as well. ~Amy M.

Thank you so much for hosting this wonderful event!  It's so nice to have an event like this that allows our typical five year old daughter to experience those classic childhood moments in a way that's comfortable and enjoyable for her brother with Autism!  [Our son] actually smiled at, touched his beard, and high fived Santa (which is huge progress for him, he screamed every time he was near a Santa in the previous three Christmases of his life!)  The day was made even more special when Laura from Raspberry Lane caught those high five and smile moments on camera in her beautiful shots.  We would love to make this an annual Christmas tradition for our family! ~Jen K

This was our second year attending the Quiet Santa event. I absolutely love the event for the obvious reason- seeing my boys visit Santa in an environment that is calm and relaxing for them. I could go on and on about how amazing the entire event is, from how Santa interacts with my boys to the calm and accepting waiting environment.  To everyone who donates their time and money to this event, please know how much it is appreciated! ~Megan H.

Thanks so much for doing this again. We had a great experience last year (after a terrible experience elsewhere). ~Sarah F.

We so appreciate everyone's effort to make our Quiet Santa experience so special and magical for the kids.  This was the first time our nearly 5 year old has been able to see Santa and enjoy himself.  Our son cannot deal with the loud and crowded mall experience.  He asked before coming to see Quiet Santa whether it would be loud or have lots of people.  The playroom prior to visiting Santa was great and it was so thoughtful of you all to provide little snacks and drinks. 
The Santa experience was wonderful from the minute we arrived.  We were greeted buy a very friendly Mrs. Claus and all of the other volunteers there were so nice and great with the kids.  Santa was so low-key and picked up great on the kids cues.  Our son just loved it and gave Santa a huge hug.  We loved getting the pictures and will cherish them!
Thank you so much for holding this event and giving our son this opportunity to have a vey positive and memorable Santa experience!
~ Marlia M

This event was the best opportunity we have ever had at participating in a "normal" tradition and we are so appreciative! ~Maria G.

Quiet Santa for special needs kids is fantastic!
~ Ron G.

I wanted to thank everyone that participated (volunteered) for this event! My autistic daughter is 7 and has never gotten to see Santa before, and without this event it would not have been possible!! The smile on her face was incredible, she had fun, thank you again! ~ Sarah F.

Thank you for making my children's holiday season brighter. :) ~ Kendra M.

Our family cannot thank you enough for hosting this event. We had such a nice time, and it was so great for our son to be able to be excited about see Santa on his own terms.  We have not gone to see Santa in a number of years because it to was too hard and overwhelming for him.  In fact, the holidays are pretty hard and overwhelming for him!  But I know he enjoyed himself and it set a positive tone for the rest of our weekend and holiday season.    And a special thank you to all your wonderful volunteers.  ~ Jennifer F.

Thank you so much for putting together this event. The pictures Laura took are beautiful. It was so nice to have a santa visit and not feel so pressured and rushed. I feel like we really got the chance to enjoy the experience and to help my son ease into what can be a jarring situation. ~ Tiffany L.

I just wanted to reiterate how pleased we were to once again be a part of this wonderful event.  You guys do such a fabulous job!!  Thank you!!  And I felt like a kid on Christmas as I was just looking through the photo gallery - the excitement they portray is absolutely contagious!   We feel really lucky to be a part of this event.  It is a big deal to us, because there is just no way that [our son] could handle the environment that usually goes along with visiting Santa, he just doesn't do a noisy, bright, loud environment.   And we knew he was excited to see Santa even more this year than last, but we really had no idea how much until we got there - the fact that he actually held the hand of the woman that led us into the room (someone he didn't know) was actually a really surprising thing for him, and the fact he hopped right up next to Santa shocked both [my husband] and I, and melted our hearts - and it came through in the photos too!!  So thank you for doing so much work to make this happen!!  And thanks to all the volunteers too!!  It means so much! ~ Shelly O

Thank you much for a wonderful event! I can't begin to say how nice it was to have such a peaceful and easy-going environment for a Santa visit. We are grateful to you and everyone else for the opportunity and hope you can do it again next year. ~ Jenny P.

Staff were very kind.  Please thank Santa for not making us feel rushed and for trying really hard to help my child connect on my child’s terms.  The staff and I  were able to understand that my son had some trouble due to the fan going in the room and once this was identified, they kindly turned the fan off (although I did understand that Santa must have been warm).  The experience tore at my heart.  It helped me realize how I had always wanted him to connect to a normal situation and even a modified one was hard for him.   We had practiced seeing Santa on cartoons for the week before even coming, with trying to hear me connect the word Santa to what Santa looks like for when he got to see him for the first time.  Even though he struggled for pictures or to even look at Santa, we had a priceless moment after we left the room.  He didn’t know what a present was, but I had put the two strings of the gift bag in his hands for him to carry.  When we walked out into the hallway, [my son] had the largest smile I had ever seen in his entire life! It is like he is living in a shell and for a slight moment in time, he broke free.  That huge smile was so rewarding, to know that my little boy is capable of having such a positive experience even when I can’t see it at the time and I may be struggling with him.   Last night he played with the blue slinky from Santa all night- it is a great sensory toy!  My 15 year old daughter I both believe the puzzle piece crayon is so creative and awesome.  Sharing this puzzle piece crayon may be a way to connect older and younger siblings to their autistic sibling.  Thank you so much!  You are welcome to share this with whom you’d like.  (ps: Thank you so much for that moment in time, as it will never be forgotten!) ~Tammy K.