Mandurah Forum: special Santa to go the extra mile for kids

CHILDREN with extra needs will have a magical Christmas at Mandurah Forum.

The centre is helping make this Christmas special by providing one-on-one visits with a Sensitive Santa.

Meeting the man from the North Pole is a yearly tradition for many families, but for children with extra and sensory needs, the experience can be too overwhelming to enjoy with crowds, music, lights and camera flashes.

By offering families a private 15-minute visit with Sensitive Santa before centre opening, Mandurah Forum hopes all local children can experience the magic of meeting Santa, in a quiet and sensory-friendly environment, tailored to their individual needs.

All families will receive a complimentary photo and to support the initiative, Big W will print the photo free of charge in store and provide the kids with a Christmas present and balloon.

Sensitive Santa flies in with his reindeer for three Sundays, starting on November 27, and parents can book by calling centre management on 9535 5522.

Local mum Sarah Rodriguez will take her six-year-old son Brayden to meet Santa in an environment tailored to his needs.

“For many autistic people and their families, a simple trip to the shops, which should be an enjoyable experience, can be fraught with difficulty,’’ she said.

“Booking a slot with the Sensitive Santa takes the pressure off our whole family, and means we can enjoy the experience together.’’