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Published December 04, 2011, 01:22 PM

MN mall hosts special meeting for autistic kids and Santa

(WDAY TV) - The holidays are an exciting time for most of us, but for children with autism, they can be overwhelming. A Minnesota mall hosted a special meeting for autistic kids and Santa.

(WDAY TV) - The holidays are an exciting time for most of us, but for children with autism, they can be overwhelming. A Minnesota mall hosted a special meeting for autistic kids and Santa.

"Hi! Merry Christmas."

It's a big moment for any child.

Santa: "Do you want to sit on my lap, tell me what you want for Christmas?"

7-year old India loved seeing Santa. It's a moment her mom never thought she'd have.

Gena Elverhoy - Minneapolis: "If we were in line and stuff, she could never get to the Santa piece, waiting all that time."

There are no lines here, or time limits. North Town Mall is closed. The lights and music set low for children with autism.

Paula Mueller: "They like a nice calming atmosphere, and that is what we try to give them with this."

Santa is sensitive too.

Santa: "Some of these kids don't like to be touched or make a sudden noise."

He lets the kids call the shots, while photographers capture the shots that bring mom to tears.

Gena: "You have things you look forward to with your children. It's different this way to still have these experiences that you want to have."

Santa had plenty of business.

Colleen Mahoney: "The centers for disease control says 1 in 110 children are on autism spectrum."

But like any little boy, four year old Braeden likes anything with wheels.

Santa: "You like trucks cars."

His wish list now set, his mom got something special too.

Brenda: "He did something today that we always hoped he could do and he actually did it today."

Meeting Santa, fun for kids and a real gift for parents.

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