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The Omaha Children's Museum is hosting the holiday Autism Night this Sunday, December 13 from 5:30 – 8 p.m. Throughout the year the museum has offered these nights in cooperations with Autism Action Partnership.

This sensory-friendly evening is free to children on the autism spectrum and their families. This special holiday Autism Night includes plenty of free play in the museum, plus a visit from Santa and Snow Queen!

The Children's Museum Snow Queen and Santa sound like they're looking forward to interacting with these special kids.

The Snow Queen said, "It is so important to understand that children on the autism spectrum have a completely different view of our world. Not wrong, just different. Although at times it is challenging to relate to someone with autism, it is always fascinating to try to experience something through their eyes. The world could really benefit from taking the time to see this perspective and experience learning differently. That's one of my favorite things about OCM, there is no 'right' way to play or learn."

The Children's Museum Santa told me he used to be a loud, bell-ringing, HO HO HO kind of Santa Claus, but he is fortunate to be married to a Mrs. Claus who has worked with autistic children and families at the Munroe-Meyer Institute. His Mrs. Claus taught him more about Sensory Sensitive Santa way of enjoying the Holidays. He wanted to make sure that the Moms and Dads of sensory sensitive kids know that,

"The Holiday Season is a time for cherished memories to be imprinted in the personal history of every child. The sights, sounds, smells, touch, and joy celebrated at the Holidays should never be limited. For those that cannot stand in-line, or are forced to approach an unfamiliar lap, or are distracted by lights in a mall deserve a soft place to land in the midst of the Season.

The unique environment that the Omaha Children's Museum and Autism Action Partnership create with a Sensory Sensitive Santa Claus Experience is truly special. Even I feel joy when sitting on the floor cross-legged, kneeling at eye level with a child in a wheelchair, standing next to parents speaking quietly like old friends to provide time for a child to set their own pace. This time is filled with smiles, laughter, a little dancing, a little singing, and a lot a fun in a magical Holiday setting.

My goal for this and every Holiday season is to never have any child cry, or hide, or run away. But a tear in Mom or Dad's eye is allowed when a child experiences the true spirit of Santa Claus and the Holidays for the first time."

I might have a little tear in my eye. All families should get the chance to enjoy the magic of the holidays. Thank you to the Omaha Children's Museum and the Autism Action Partnership for organizing these events.

If you know of similar events happening in the Omaha area, please share with us in the comments below.

Carolyn Kruger

with ParentSavvy.com

Carolyn is an editor and promotions manager for ParentSavvy. She has enjoyed seeing the site grow from its infancy to its toddler stage. (And, yes, there have been growing pains in the whole process.) Carolyn was born and raised in Omaha and is thankful that such a unique site calls Omaha home. When not editing content, Carolyn can be found with her family and friends scouring local neighborhoods for untasted restaurants or exploring new stories at the movie theater. ...

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