Sensory Santa returns to the Tennessee Valley

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Many families across the Tennessee Valley are visiting Santa Claus this month. Sometimes that trip to the mall is just too much for children, especially those with autism.

That's why the Sensory-friendly Santa Claus came back to the Tennessee Valley.

Sensory Santa is a unique experience for children with special needs and their families. The event gives children with autism a chance to visit with Santa Claus, which might be difficult for them otherwise.

"I don't charge anyone a dime. Some of these Santas get 100 to 125 an hour," said Sensory Santa, Roger Cobb.
With some extra patience, Cobb is able to make children with autism more comfortable.
"I usually try to start off with trying to get a hug. If not, then I let them feel my glove. I let them touch my glove and feel my fur," explained Cobb.
It doesn't seem like much, but this relaxing environment is a gift parents treasure. During the experience, distractions are kept to a minimum. For Cobb, sharing this moment with families is more than he could ever ask for.
"I'm blessed. I've been blessed. I  just give back some of the blessing that I've got. To see the kids come in, running in, and their face light up when they grab you and hug you. It's kind of like that commercial. It's priceless. You can't put a price on it," said Cobb.

Sensory-friendly Santa took place at the meeting house at the Village of Providence Sunday from 1:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.

Tickets for Sensory Santa were free for families.

There were professional photographers, snacks, and presents for all children at the event.

The event is put on by Kulture City, a non-profit organization that works to create a world where those with autism are accepted, included, and can fulfill their potential. With the success of this event, Kulture City plans to bring even more sensory-friendly events to Huntsville.

If you're interested in learning more about Kulture City, visit www.kulturecity.org.