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"Sensory Sensitive Santa Event" brings Christmas in July to Chambersburg

It was "Christmas in July" in Chambersburg as locals held a fundraising event to make sure children with autism get to meet Santa Claus this December.
CHAMBERSBURG, PA- It was "Christmas in July" in Chambersburg as locals held a fundraising event to make sure children with autism get to meet Santa Claus this December.

The mother of a 16-year-old teenager with autism, Trish Ieraci, says last winter was the first time they hosted the "Sensory Sensitive Santa Event." The organization, Providing Relief for Autistic Youth, hosted the special photo session tailored specifically for kids and families affected by autism.

"We were able to have a professional photographer. This was, if not the first time, the first time in a very long time that these children or young adults were able to have their photo taken or family portrait taken with Santa Claus," said Trish Ieraci, PR director of Providing Relief for Autistic Youth.

In addition to the Santa event, the group works year-round to promote autism awareness in the community through workshops and training sessions.

"In the state of Maryland, we're looking at one in 80 individuals are being diagnosed with this. So anybody that has a business, anybody that is in the type of profession where they are dealing with a lot of people on a daily basis, that means that their likelihood has just dramatically increased that they're going to be interacting with or dealing with somebody that is under the spectrum," said Ieraci.

She says the organization provides her and many other families with valuable support.

"I find it a blessing. If I don't know something, I like to go to people that do know. If I don't know the answer to something, there's somebody else out there that does. So it's always nice to go and have a resource or resources that you can go to to assist you," said Ieraci.

For more information about Providing Relief for Autistic Youth visit their website.
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