(Photo : Naomi Johnson / RiverTown Crossings Facebook screenshot )
Christmas came early for one mom after Santa Claus gave her autistic son got a gift he'll never forget.
Naomi Johnson took her family to a local Granville, Michigan mall on Dec. 4 so her son, Landon, could meet Santa. The 6-year-old boy spent a few seconds with Father Christmas before jumping off his lap and reuniting his mom, only Landon hadn't completely made his peace; he was worried that his autism would land him on Santa's naughty list.
I had an AMAZING experience w the Santa at the RiverTown Crossings Mall and I want to share my story with you:My child...Advertisement
Posted by Naomi Johnson on Sunday, 6 December 2015
"He went back to Santa [because] he wanted to tell him that he has Autism. He was flapping his hands, all excited to let Santa know that he has autism," Naomi wrote on a Facebook post.
"Santa sat him next to him and took L's hands in his and started rubbing them, calming them down," she added. Santa asked L if it bothered him, having Autism? L said yes, sometimes. Then Santa told him it shouldn't. It shouldn't bother him to be who he is. L told Santa that sometimes he gets in trouble at school and it's hard for people to understand that he has autism, and that he's not a naughty boy. Santa told L to not worry and that he has been a very good boy being who he is."
The post has gone viral, garnering 57,000 shares and over 165,000 likes since Naomi, 32, shared her story to the RiverTown Crossings Facebook page last Sunday.
In an interview with TODAY.com, Naomi said that Landon often gets in trouble at school because his classmates and teachers don't know how to handle his autism. Landon's short talk with Santa reassured him that there's nothing wrong with being autistic, and that it shouldn't stop him from being himself.
"Mommy tells him all the time that he's special and I love him the way he was made, but it's nice to hear it from others," Naomi wrote. "To be told that it's ok to be who he is."