Every year, tons of children line up to have their picture taken with jolly old Saint Nicholas around the holidays. The Deelys wanted their son, Brayden, to have the same experience, even though his autism often makes it difficult for him to assimilate in a social setting.
They took him to the SouthPark Mall in Charlotte, NC where a Caring Santa event was taking place. In partnership with Autism Speaks, the program invites families with special-needs children to spend about 20 minutes with Santa Claus in a calmer setting.
On that day, however, Brayden didn’t feel comfortable sitting on Saint Nick’s lap.
Thankfully, the family came across an understanding Santa, who found a way to make sure that Brayden had his holiday pictures taken. Mr. Claus voluntarily laid down on the ground to play with Brayden, a moment that is quickly gaining attention around the country.
Much like the boy with Asperger’s who eased up after an encounter with a pooch, Brayden’s whole demeanor shifted, as you’ll see in the below video shared by USA Today.
“Social situations get very difficult for him,” said Brayden’s dad, Dan Deely. “Having the ability for us to come in and set up an appointment and give him an experience of a typical child is huge for him and huge for us as parents.”
Watch the touching video below and please SHARE if you are touched by this caring Santa Claus!