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Program provides calm environment for autistic kids to meet Santa

Photo: WLOS staff

Families of children with special needs get a chance to meet Santa, thanks to a program called Santa Cares.

The jolly one made an appearance at the Asheville Mall Sunday, in partnership with a group called Autism Speaks.

It was an opportunity for these kids to have this traditional Christmas experience in a calm environment.

Parents say it means a lot.

"They have their little moment, they're not lost in the crowd," said Eduardo and Christy Balcells, parents who attended the event. " It's nice to have the time, you don't feel pressured, and she feels safer."

While this was the only Santa Cares" event of the 2017 season, Santa's not going anywhere anytime soon.

Anyone can stop by the Asheville Mall with their Christmas wish lists for Mr. Claus.

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