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Old 24 December 2015, 03:22 PM
A Turtle Named Mack's Avatar
A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Icon05 Family outraged by Santa's standing photo with special needs child

The family of a 13-month-old baby with a genetic brain and muscle disorder has received a formal apology from Bass Pro Shops, days after the family said Santa Claus refused to be photographed with the child on his lap. Megan Self told KENS 5 she unhooked her son Caleb from his breathing apparatus and other medical equipment, after waiting in line for a free picture with Santa Claus. Self said Santa stood up, took one photo with Caleb, then quickly handed off the child, who has been diagnosed with mitochondrial encephalomyopathy.

http://www.kens5.com/story/news/2015...hild/77721362/
I am really trying to understand the problem here. Everyone was offered a free photo with Santa, and they got it, and it is really a nice photo. Santa did not refuse to hold or touch the child. The report does not say the family specifically asked for a photo on his lap, before or after the standing photo was taken. As far as can be told, Santa just needs to stand up every so often when sitting for hundreds of photos, and while you cannot do a good standing Santa photo with a toddler (too many toddler-liftings makes for a sore back, and while parents may be willing to let their toddlers sit on one thigh, some would be upset with a child being held close to Santa's body - and some toddlers are none too keen on a stranger holding them either), infants (as this child remains) can readily be held while standing for a nice photo.
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Old 24 December 2015, 04:09 PM
Onyx_TKD Onyx_TKD is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
The family of a 13-month-old baby
I am really trying to understand the problem here. Everyone was offered a free photo with Santa, and they got it, and it is really a nice photo. Santa did not refuse to hold or touch the child. The report does not say the family specifically asked for a photo on his lap, before or after the standing photo was taken. As far as can be told, Santa just needs to stand up every so often when sitting for hundreds of photos, and while you cannot do a good standing Santa photo with a toddler (too many toddler-liftings makes for a sore back, and while parents may be willing to let their toddlers sit on one thigh, some would be upset with a child being held close to Santa's body - and some toddlers are none too keen on a stranger holding them either), infants (as this child remains) can readily be held while standing for a nice photo.
The story does seem rather sparse on details of what precisely happened and whether anyone verbally communicated what they wanted. The parents could be entirely right that Santa was rushing them through...or Santa could have had no idea that a sitting photo was important to them. They mention that only one photo was taken, but not whether "normal" kids got more than one. They mention that "this" has happened to other kids and is not an isolated incident, but don't really specify what parts of the situation "this" entails: Standing? Fewer photos than for other kids? Feeling rushed?

One thing that jumps out at me from the (very nice looking) standing photo is that Santa's whole body is turned to give the camera a good front view of the kid, which might be difficult to do in that narrow chair. If Santa faced the camera straight on from his seat, while holding the kid the same way, then the camera would get a side view of the kid and his face would be completely obscured if he was turning to look at Santa. If the parents didn't mention that The Lap was important to them, Santa might very well have judged that a standing photo would give the best shot.

Another thing that struck me was that they disconnected the child's breathing apparatus before handing him to Santa. I wonder if the parents communicated with Santa or his helpers about the equipment, how long it was ok for it to be disconnected, and how they could work with the family to get a good photo around it. If I were Santa, I'd be a little concerned about delaying the kid's access to such vital-appearing medical equipment longer than necessary. Logically the parents wouldn't have done it if there was danger, but I could imagine myself unconsciously rushing so the little boy could get his equipment back on and (I would assume) breathe more easily. If they discussed it with the staff, it might have been possible to either reassure them that there was no rush or to let him keep the equipment in place while sitting on the lap until the few seconds when the photo would be taken.
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Old 24 December 2015, 04:22 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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I fully understand and sympathize with parents felling that their child is being stigmatized, or given a "lesser" experience than a "typical" child.

That said, what Onyx_TKD said is spot on. Having seen how very good healthcare professionals who are not necessarily comfortable with pediatrics act around kids with home ventilators in a hospital clinic, I can only imaging what was going through the mind of the people in the store as they see this baby unplugged from his ventilator. I agree that unless the parents talked to them about it beforehand, I would have no reasonable expectation that Santa would know what to do, and based on the article and the photo, it seems that he handled it as compassionately and deftly as could be expected.
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Old 24 December 2015, 05:53 PM
plannedchaos plannedchaos is offline
 
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This supposedly is the Facebook account of the Santa in question.


Quote:
This photograph has gone viral on Facebook and on television. This child was brought to me stapped in a wheelchair and on a ventilator. I assumed they would bring the child in the chair to the set so I went to assist.

https://www.facebook.com/glenn.burkett
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Old 25 December 2015, 03:57 AM
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In direct contrast to that, a parent I know who was trying to make an appointment for her special needs child to have his picture taken was rushed to the front of the line (he would have trouble waiting), and they took his picture free of charge. It was the first time he had been able to have a picture with Santa in years.
She was in tears telling me about it. My eyes got pretty wet too.
ETA: Direct contrast in that she was full of praise about how it was handled.
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Old 25 December 2015, 08:48 AM
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Little Pink Pill Little Pink Pill is offline
 
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Quote:
Despite his repeated medical setbacks, Caleb's family wanted him to experience sitting on Santa's lap.

"We were trying to work with them so we can get that memory, get the picture of him on his lap and everything," added Self.
Quote:
The company offered Self a gift certificate and a one-on-one photo session for Caleb and Santa. Self declined the offer, and instead suggested Bass Pro Shops donate the money to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.
I feel like the parents are kind of all over the place here, but considering their last year of medical setbacks, maybe that can be expected.

It sounds like Bass and their Santa did their best, but these people are in a terrible situation and desperate for one thing about their child's life to be "normal." I doubt this is really about this one photo. This is about a lifetime of things they're afraid they're going to miss.
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Old 25 December 2015, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
It sounds like Bass and their Santa did their best, but these people are in a terrible situation and desperate for one thing about their child's life to be "normal." I doubt this is really about this one photo. This is about a lifetime of things they're afraid they're going to miss.
I think this sums up perfectly what the situation really is. There are no bad guys in this scenario.

And, if this child is able to look back at these photos in 20 years, he will be happy at seeing himself with Santa, I'm certain of it.
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Old 25 December 2015, 02:53 PM
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Rebochan Rebochan is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
I think this sums up perfectly what the situation really is. There are no bad guys in this scenario.
I think the parents that took to the media to trash an old guy's reputation have certainly behaved like bad guys. I feel sorry for their child, and I respect they're under a lot of stress, but I know plenty of people with special needs children that don't take out their stress on others.
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