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Santa calms autistic boy who patiently waited 6 years to meet him

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Image via Darren Domingo

After finally meeting Santa Claus, an 8-year-old with autism cried happy tears when he finally got to meet Santa Claus.

Baiz Weerts had dreamed of getting a picture with Santa since the age of 2, but his “irrational fears” kept him from getting too close. Baiz asks to go to the mall almost every weekend.

“He’s like ‘I’m gonna do it this time!’ But as soon as we get there, he freezes,” Sheila Seelye, Weerts’ mother, informed TODAY Parents.

Image via Sheila Seelye

“So, we sit and watch from afar while he works through his feelings.”

The Illinois native has an anxiety disorder called selective mutism which means he speaks normally at home, but shuts down in social settings.

Just last weekend, Weert’s twin sister, Layna, decided she wanted a photo with Santa at the Gurnee Mill Shopping Center and ran straight up. Baiz was upset as he wanted to follow her but he couldn’t do it.



As Baiz frustration began to grow, he climbed into a shopping cart and began to cry. Santa who had been watching the scene unfold, slowly got up from his chair and made his way to Baiz. He touched Baiz’s hair, gently rubbed his arm and gave him a candy cane.

“He knew just how to calm Baiz down,” Seelye shared.

Image via Sheila Seelye

“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.”

Seelye shared how Weerts looks like a typical kid so bystanders assume he is just having a temper tantrum but Santa just knew.

“That meant the most to me. He knew Baiz needed him to come over.”

Seelye continued saying that Weerts had been in and out of the hospital over the last few weeks with health problems.

“The timing was perfect,” she said. “Santa picked the right child at the right time.”

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