Erin and Dan Deely wanted their young son Brayden to take a picture with Santa, just like tons of boys and girls all over the country are doing this time of year, but they knew it would be challenging.
Brayden is autistic, but a photo of him at Santa's Village in Charlotte's SouthPark Mall has gone viral because of what the man in the red suit did for him.
RELATED: This Little Girl Reacts Perfectly to Seeing Santa Claus
When Brayden didn't want to get on his lap, Santa came down to his level, playing on the ground with the little boy. "We would not have Santa pictures otherwise," Erin shared.
(Photo Credit: WCNC)
Brayden was able to spend 15 to 20 minutes with SouthPark's Santa thanks to an event called Caring Santa, which gives kids affected by autism a chance to meet with Mr. Claus one-on-one in a non-stressful environment.
"Social situations get very difficult for him so having the ability for us to come in and set up an appointment and give him an experience of a typical child is huge for him and huge for us," explained Dan.
RELATED: Husband Sings to 93-Year-Old Wife in the Hospital and It's Just as Beautifully Heartbreaking as You'd Expect
The event, which is sponsored by Autism Speaks, has been growing more and more popular since it began two years ago.
"It's starting to spread through social media and families telling other families," Kelly Embler, who works with Autism Speaks of the Carolinas, told WCNC.
Hear more about it in the video below:
Your life just got exponentially better and more stylish now you've signed up for our newsletter. Fabulousness awaits!