Local special needs children and their families handle busy holi - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Local special needs children and their families handle busy holiday season

Posted: Updated:
Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online
  • More Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • New initiative to eat healthy at local restaurants

    New initiative to eat healthy at local restaurants

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:20 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:20:17 GMT
    Americans eat out an average of four times a week.  That is one of the big reason we are getting bigger as a nation.  KPLC's Britney Glaser reports on the new Eat Healthy SWLA initiative adding healthier restaurant menu options.More >>
    Americans eat out an average of four times a week.  That is one of the big reason we are getting bigger as a nation.  KPLC's Britney Glaser reports on the new Eat Healthy SWLA initiative adding healthier restaurant menu options.More >>
  • BREAKING: More arrests made in Cline Street drive-by shooting

    BREAKING: More arrests made in Cline Street drive-by shooting

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:42 AM EDT2014-07-31 14:42:04 GMT
    Two additional Lake Charles residents have been arrested in connection with a drive-by shooting last week on Cline Street, city police said.More >>
    Two additional Lake Charles residents have been arrested in connection with a drive-by shooting last week on Cline Street, city police said.More >>
  • What's Going Around: staph, yeast and bladder infections

    What's Going Around: staph, yeast and bladder infections

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:11 AM EDT2014-07-31 13:11:09 GMT
    It is a summer of infections - from staph to yeast and the bladder.  KPLC's Britney Glaser talks to Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh at Vinton Medical Center about what's going around this week.More >>
    It is a summer of infections - from staph to yeast and the bladder.  KPLC's Britney Glaser talks to Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh at Vinton Medical Center about what's going around this week.More >>
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -

With lights, trees and even Santa Clause, Christmas time can be overwhelming for children with special needs. For mother of two special needs children Janet English of Westlake, this time of year can be a challenge.

"Yes. Especially with the holidays because there's so many people out so it's a little bit more difficult getting them out more," said English.

English has 12 children, two of which require special needs. She brought them out to Prien Lake Mall where they hosted "Caring Santa," a special event dedicated to families that have children with special needs.

"We came out because it's less people," said English. "It's less crowds and they do better. It takes them a little longer to get things out but getting them out in the community and being a part of the community, it's a great thing being able to come and see Santa. They've been excited for days."

The mall took extra steps to reduce sensory triggers to create a more comforting experience for the children's visit with Santa. There was no music or heavy lighting and they provided special activities like coloring sheets to help the kids stay relaxed before taking pictures with Santa. Something English said her kids were definitely looking forward to.

"This morning they all woke up saying "Today! Today!" They were excited about being here," said English.

Janet says she keeps a routine and taking them to small, less-events like "Caring Santa" helps put them at ease. Other parents like English suggest creating visual schedules with pictures to help children understand routine changes during family visits. This is said to lower anxiety over being in a different place with different people.

English says though it may be tough, she has one Christmas wish for her children and other families like hers.

"Just wish them joy," said English. "Just knowing it's a time for family, for friends and for good times."

The "Caring Santa" program started in 2010 and has now become the most comprehensive offering of its type in the shopping center industry.

 

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow