The Short of It
A mall Santa reassures a boy who was worried his autism put him on the "naughty list."
Landon Johnson, who has autism, is a silly, fun-loving boy who loves everything about Christmas—especially Santa Claus. Over the weekend, Landon went with his cousins to go snap some pictures with the jolly elf at a mall in Michigan. Little did anyone know, the boy was secretly worried that being autistic would put him on Santa's "naughty" list.
According to the mall Santa, Landon came over and told him what he wanted for Christmas and then he walked out. But while he was waiting with his aunt for his pictures to print, Landon suddenly turned around and came back to speak to him again. "He came back, and he said, 'Santa, 'I'm autistic,'" the Santa told Fox 59. Then the little boy said he was worried his autism may have put him on the "naughty list."
According to mom Naomi's post on the River Town Crossings Mall Facebook page, Santa took Landon's hands and asked him if having autism was something that bothered him. Landon said "yes, sometimes." Then Santa told him it shouldn't. It shouldn't bother him to be who he is. Landon told Santa that sometimes he gets in trouble at school and it's hard for people to understand that he has autism, and he's not a naughty boy. Santa told him to not worry and that he has been a very good boy being who he is.
What a magical holiday moment!
"This just melts this momma's heart!" Naomi wrote on Facebook. "My child is a great advocate for himself. But this day was different. He opened up to this person about who he was and he was accepted. He wasn't a science experiment, like he gets treated when most people find out he autistic. He was Landon, sitting with Santa and being told that it was ok to be himself...We have met a lot of amazing people in our autism journey, but this one made the top of the list."