Santa and Mrs. Claus greet visitors to the Hamilton Mall last month.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — Hamilton Mall’s first sensory-sensitive Santa event late November and early December was successful, mall officials said.

Sensory-sensitive Santas are for children on the autism spectrum. Children on the autism spectrum are often upset by loud sounds, crowds, lights and other things that can overexcite their senses, so they need a special situation.

Both Nov. 26 and Dec. 3 sessions, held in the morning, were booked full, said the mall’s marketing and social media coordinator, Rachel Wheeler.

“Sensory Santa went great,” Wheeler said. “45 families came in.”

The response was overwhelmingly positive, Wheeler said.

The mall will bring back the sensory-sensitive Santa event, as well as try to have a sensory-sensitive Easter bunny event in the spring, Wheeler said.

The lack of a sensory-sensitive Santa was brought up to mall officials by a retired school nurse and educator in Hammonton. Judy Grasso has two grandsons on the spectrum and was frustrated after her daughter told her sensory-sensitive Santas at malls in Cherry Hill and Moorestown were already sold out, The Press previously reported.

Contact: 609-272-7090 WDiez@pressofac.com Twitter @_waldy

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