Santa works Christmas magic to calm boy with autism down who waited 6 years to meet him – “Santa just knew”
Meeting Santa in person and telling him what you want for Christmas this year is a Majical moment that every kid dreams about. And for one child from Illinois, it’s a dream that has been 6 years I the making.
An 8-year-old with autism cried his eyes out – happy tears of course – when he finally met Santa Claus face to face for the first time.
And after the boy’s mother shared pictures with a little back story on Facebook, the internet is also crying happy tears.
Since the age of 2, Baiz Weerts has always dreamed of meeting Santa in person, but according to his mother, his “irrational fears” kept him from getting close.
“Baiz asks to go to the mall almost every weekend, his mom, Sheila Seelye, told TODAY Parents.
“He’s like ’I’m gonna do it this time!’ But as soon as we get there, he freezes,” she added.
“So, we sit and watch from afar while he works through his feelings.”
The second grader from Illinois has an anxiety disorder called selective mutism, which means he speaks normally in his comfort zone, but shuts down in some social settings.
For that reason, Seelye is calling what happened on Saturday a “Christmas miracle.” She told TODAY Parents.
Fun fact, Weerts has a twin sister named Layna, and last weekend she decided she wanted a photo with Santa at the Gurnee Mill Shopping Center and ran right up to him.
“Baiz was emotional because he wanted to follow her but he couldn’t do it,” Seelye said.
As Weerts’ frustration began to build, he climbed into a shopping cart and began to cry uncontrollably.
That’s when good old St. Nick, who had been watching the scene unfold from a distance, calmly got up from his chair and started walking towards Weerts.
He gently patted Weerts head, calmly rubbed his arm and eve gave him a candy cane in an effort to let the boy know everything was ok.
“He knew just how to calm Baiz down,” Seelye said.
“He kept telling him, ‘You’re OK buddy. You’re gonna be OK.’ He knew just what Baiz needed in that moment. I’ve never seen him so happy.”
His mom said that Weerts looks like any average kid to bystanders, so often they think he’s just having a temper tantrum – these are the things that parents of a child with autism can struggle with.
“Santa just knew,” Seeyle told TODAY Parents.
“That meant the most to me. He knew Baiz needed him to come over.”
Seelye added that Weerts has been in and out of the hospital over the last few weeks with health problems, so “The timing was perfect,” she said.
“Santa picked the right child at the right time.” And to us, that’s pretty Majical.