The Florida Bar
The Florida Bar News
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January 1, 2014

Santa and kids
PHELPS DUNBAR IN TAMPA was hard at work this holiday season gathering toys and other appropriate gifts for children living with autism and developmental delays. They brought the gifts as well as a monetary donation to the Lawyers Autism Awareness Foundation’s Sensory Friendly Santa event that took place December 7. The event, held at the Charles H. Ferguson Law Center, featured arts and crafts, a toy giveaway, and photos with Santa all geared to accommodate the special needs of children on the autism spectrum. Elements that comprise traditional visits with Santa, including bright lights, loud Christmas music, and long lines, can cause stress and anxiety for children with autism. The Sensory Friendly Santa Event provided a calmer environment, including natural light, low noise, and appointed blocks of time to minimize waiting for Santa. The firm also has a special connection to the event, as one of the attorneys in the Tampa office has a child with autism. “I am grateful for Phelps Dunbar’s leadership and generous assistance on this event,” said Luis Viera, co-founder and president of LAAF. “Up to this year, 100 percent of the toys that are distributed to the children come from Phelps and the Tampa Hispanic Bar Association. Without their support, this event would not be possible.”

[Revised: 03-29-2017]