Sensitive Santa offers calm photo opportunity

After a successful inaugural year, The PLUS Co. and the Greater Nashua YMCA are again teaming up to create an alternative holiday photo experience with Santa Claus.

Families with children with sensory issues or autism are often forced to pass on the traditional photograph with Santa Claus. The noise, crowds, long waiting lines and bright lights that typically accompany settings where children visit Santa can be overwhelming.

A Sensitive Santa photo session will take place at the Merrimack YMCA from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. The event will provide a chance for families to take their own photos with their children and Santa Claus.

“Last year, we decided to see if there was a need in the community for this type of alternative photo session,” said Cynthia Andreola, director of marketing and communication at The PLUS Co. “We were pleased to learn there was. One father was near tears when he had the opportunity to take a photograph of both his
children with Santa. It was the first time in years he was able to get a picture.

“The overstimulation of the holiday season can wreak havoc on families, particularly ones with a child sensitive to noise and crowds. To avoid overstimulation, the entire family chooses to miss out on the joy of meeting Santa in order to accommodate the needs of one sibling. We are thrilled to offer an alternative to allow all families that same wonderful holiday experience.”

The event is free to the public, but advance registration is required. To register, call 881-7778.

The Merrimack YMCA is at 6 Henry Clay Drive, Merrimack. Families must bring their own camera. Holiday crafts will be available.

The People Learning Useful Skills Co. has provided an array of vocational and independent living supports, adult education and recreational opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities and acquired brain disorders since 1972.

For more information, visit www.pluscompany.org or www.nmymca.org.