Landon had traveled with his family to the RiverTown Crossings shopping center in Michigan to see Santa Claus. The six-year-old boy had something on his mind that was of genuine concern.
The family stopped to take a group photo and then Landon ran back over to Santa. He was nervous and excited at the same time because he was going to ask something that he needed to know.
Landon asked the question, “Will my autism put me on the naughty list?”
He was concerned that his condition would cause Santa and the elves to be upset with him but it turns out, he couldn’t have been more wrong.
The local news reported on the situation and said how Santa had reacted with a simple response that is touching hearts across the Internet.
“You understand I like you and the reindeer love you and it’s OKAY. You’re a great kid. You’re a great kid, you understand?”
Suddenly, Landon was no longer nervous and his mother, Naomi, sat and watched as the situation unfolded before her eyes. She talked about how Santa had discussed with her son what she had been trying to teach him his entire life. She wanted him to know that he is not better or worse than anyone else because of his autism. He is a loving individual and with only five words, Santa made him feel much better. He said: “It’s okay to be you!”
Landon seemed to understand what was said to him perfectly. They then talked for another five minutes about his interests and the Christmas season.
Santa continued to give him his full attention and talked about all of his other concerns or anything else he had on his mind. Naomi was thrilled that her son was willing to listen to what Santa told him.
“Here was Landon, sitting with Santa and being informed that it was okay to be himself. Mommy informs him all the time that he’s unique and I like him the method he was made, however it’s constantly great to hear it from others.”
Children, such as Landon, sometimes need someone to tell them what they really need to hear. It will help with their self-confidence and it certainly provided Landon with what he needed.
The empathy that Santa showed on that day is something that you don’t see very often in today’s world. Even the fact that he took the time to give his full attention to this young lad is something that all of us can appreciate.
You can see more about Landon’s story in this touching video: