Special Needs Students Enjoy Special Visit with Santa

Pictured, bottom L to R: Jeremiah Moise from Lynn, Brandon Griffen from Everett, and Teacher Shawna Carr. Back,Paraprofessional Ellen Feiven, Elijah Frazier from North Reading, Santa Claus, Charles Gathua from Lynn, and Adriana Carvalho from NH.

Pictured, bottom L to R: Jeremiah Moise from Lynn, Brandon Griffen from Everett, and Teacher Shawna Carr. Back,Paraprofessional Ellen Feiven, Elijah Frazier from North Reading, Santa Claus, Charles Gathua from Lynn, and Adriana Carvalho from NH.

A group of students with severe special needs had a special visit with Santa at the North Shore Mall.  This was the teens’ second annual visit to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas.  Some have very limited verbal abilities and Santa was very patient and encouraging of each one.

The students hail from all over the North of Boston region and attend the Northshore Education Consortium’s Kevin O’Grady School in Beverly. The school serves students ages 3 to 22 with severe special needs, including complex medical needs, physical disabilities, multiple disabilities, visual or hearing impairment, autism, and intellectual disabilities.

Their special education teacher reports that the students were very excited to see the lights and all of the decorations. “We were lucky not to have to wait in line to see the Jolly Old Elf. Some students were a little hesitant at first and one decided to sit on a chair near Santa. Other students were ready to jump into his lap,” Carr said.

“One student had a Christmas list of 26 items for Santa! Santa was very kind to all of the students and spoke to each one individually, asking what they wanted for Christmas. He was very patient with the students’ limitations in their ability to communicate with him,” Carr continued.

“We were very pleased and excited when the Mall gave us a free photo of the class with Santa that we could share with the students’ families. We thank the North Shore Mall for its kindness and generosity.”

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