Santa Makes Christmas Extra Special For A Little Boy With Autism In Touching Photo

03/12/2015 11:39 GMT | Updated 03/12/2015 11:59 GMT

Santa went the extra mile to make sure a little boy with autism had a memorable Christmas.

The boy was too afraid to sit on Santa's lap in a shopping mall in North Carolina and his parents were unable to convince him to sit down.

So Santa got off his chair, lay on the floor with the boy and gave him a snow globe for the two of them to play with.

The touching moment was captured in this photograph.

santa

The boy's mother, Erin Deely, , commented on the photo which was uploaded by the organisation Autism Speaks.

She wrote: "[My son] very much wanted to see Santa but was very shy and doesn't like eye contact.

"We brought those Chip and Dale stuffed animals that Santa is holding for our son to focus on instead.

"Luckily Santa had that awesome snowglobe so they traded and bonded on the floor. No meltdowns and no forcing on our part."

Santa was visiting the mall during an Autism Speaks Caring Santa event.

The Caring Santa events are an opportunity for families that have children with autism to enter a calming and welcoming environment to visit Santa.

Maeghan Pawley, a member of Autism Speaks’ Family Services team, said: "The whole staff (Santa included) was overly accommodating for all of our kids.

"They really tried to get the best picture and create the best experience possible, regardless of how much time or patience was needed to do so."

"See this to me is one of many true heroes... taking his time with children," commented one person on the photo.

"Bless this Santa and thank goodness that there are people out there that are willing to give up their comfort to help and make someone else comfortable."

Another person wrote: "That is a great Santa, I hope the boy remembers that forever."

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