Mall Santa goes above and beyond to help comfort autistic boy

Santa Lies on Floor for Boy With Autism, Mom Gets Perfect Christmas Photo
Santa Lies on Floor for Boy With Autism, Mom Gets Perfect Christmas Photo



Now, this is what we call holiday spirit. A photo from a mall Santa in North Carolina is going viral after showing good ol' Saint Nick lending a helping hand to a small autistic boy during an episode. It happened during an event sponsored by Autism Speaks in North Carolina. The photo, posted by the Autism Speaks Facebook page, shows Santa on the ground next to the boy.

When it came time for the young man in the photo to meet Santa, his parents couldn't convince him to sit on Santa's lap. #GivingTuesday

Posted by Autism Speaks on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

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Diagnosed with autism at age three, Braden's mom told PEOPLE she never thought she would be able to get a holiday photo of her son with Santa.

%shareLinks-quote=" I thought we would never get those holiday pictures with him because it's something he can't handle -- the noise, and the pressure. He gets anxious if you ask him to smile, it's all too much for him." type="quote" author="Erin Deely" authordesc="Brayden's mother" isquoteoftheday="false"%

However, Deely heard of the program called Caring Santa, which provides special needs family with a controlled environment to meet their holiday hero. The family decided to give it a try and brought Brayden to the event in Charlotte.

However, despite how much the parent tried, Brayden did not want to sit on Santa's lap. Instead, the boy chose to lay on the ground.

Rather than let it be an uncomfortable moment, good ol' Saint Nick went the extra mile and dropped down to the boy's level, laying down with him.

%shareLinks-quote="Brayden was shy and inched his way over slowly and then Santa just slowly gets out of his seat and gets on the ground and starts playing with the toys that my son brought." type="quote" author="Erin Deely" authordesc="Brayden's mother" isquoteoftheday="false"%

Once on the ground together, Santa had a little chat with his new friend. The moment was overwhelming for his mother.

It was a moment Deely thought would never happen. Now, it's one she will never forget.

%shareLinks-quote="To be able to do something that other families do ... normally a lot of things are harder for us as a family and we got to do the same tradition as everyone else, we just do it on the floor." type="quote" author="Erin Deely" authordesc="Brayden's mother" isquoteoftheday="false"%

Now watch this baby who definitely didn't enjoy meeting Santa:

Baby Cries in Santa Claus' Lap
Baby Cries in Santa Claus' Lap


More holiday stories:
This baby was so excited to meet Santa, he couldn't stay awake
What kids around the world leave out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve
40 Father Christmases graduate from Brazilian Santa School