Sensory Santa visited special needs children at Rogue Pediatric Therapies

KTVL / Jennevieve Fong

Some local children with special needs met Santa for the first time Saturday afternoon with the help of Rogue Pediatric Therapies. The speech and occupational therapy clinic hosted a holiday open house in Medford to showcase their new building and share more about their services.

The highlight of the event was a "Sensory Santa," who was specifically suited to service kids with special needs.

Speech language pathologist Denell Gallagher said standard interactions with Santa in a public setting can be overwhelming for some children, especially those living with autism.

“There can be a lot of noise in that setting, a lot of people and a lot of long lines," Gallagher said. "A lot of children, who have sensory difficulties with autism and other disabilities, it can be hard for them to participate in a large event."

Families were able to visit Santa in a private room, so he could interact with each family on a one-to-one basis.

"It’s really important to us to give families the opportunity to come to a place that is more quiet and smaller setting," Gallagher said.

Rogue Pediatric Therapies has served many infants to young adults in the Rogue Valley area since 2014. They offer speech therapy, occupational therapy, and aquatic therapy.

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