8-Year-Old Boy with Autism Can’t Go to Santa Because of Anxiety — Santa Comes to Calm Him

In 2019 a mother went to a shopping mall in Gurnee, Illinois, with her autistic son. The youngster wanted to interact with Santa, but his anxiety got the better of him. However, Santa did something special.

A boy desperately wanted to meet Santa, but he could not bring himself to do it. Photos of the 8-year-old who has autism went viral after Santa approached him and did the sweetest thing.

Mom, Sheila Seelye, shared the encounter on her Facebook page and told netizens that her son Baiz Weerts had dreamed about meeting Santa and getting a photo with him since he was two years old. However, his anxiety held him back. 

An autistic boy is too scared to approach Santa so Santa came to him | Photo: Facebook/sheilaweidner.seelye

Seelye said her son would ask her to take him to the mall most weekends. He was determined to interact with Santa. The mother expressed:

“He’s like I’m gonna do it this time!’ But as soon as we get there, he freezes.

Seelye stated that she would often sit with her son as he managed his feelings. The youngster’s “selective mutism” prevents him from interacting socially in public spaces. While he is comfortable at home, he does not cope well elsewhere. 

The “Christmas miracle” which involved her son’s encounter with Santa left the mother speechless. When Baiz’s twin sister, Layna, asked their mother if she could have her photograph taken with Santa, the unexpected happened.

While they were shopping at the Gurnee Mills, Layna ran straight toward Santa, and Baiz was sad because he could not do the same. He became angry and got into the shopping cart. As he cried, he didn’t know someone had been watching him.

Santa noticed what was happening and quietly walked toward Baiz. To help calm down the youngster, the white-bearded man gently rubbed the boy’s head. In a clip shared by Seelye, Santa then handed her son a candy cane. 

The mother shared: “Santa came over to Baiz SO SLOW AND SWEET! Just talking to him, Baiz had huge tears running down his face, anxious spots breaking out, frantically rolling the belt clip, happy but nervous.”


The mother stated that she had never seen her son crying so happily before. She added: “He had a smile while crying!!!” All the while, Santa kept reassuring Baiz. He told him: “You’re OK, buddy. You’re gonna be OK.” 

Seelye explained that people often think her son is looking for attention or having a “temper tantrum.” However, she puts forward that this Santa knew her son really needed him. 

Later in the evening, Baiz said something that touched many netizens. The young boy told his mother: “I believe that was the real Santa mommy. I feel it in my soul.”

Seelye was so happy she was able to witness the significant moment. Many online members also loved the boy’s story, and many said it touched their hearts. 

One commenter stated: “This makes me cry. Whether it was Santa or a normal person, he has given faith to a scared little boy. Another netizen expressed: “I am so absolutely happy that your precious little buy finally got to meet Santa!”

The touching display showed many that there were still “good people” in the world, as pointed out by an online user. For Baiz, the simple gesture was a memory he would treasure forever. 

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