ILLINOIS — A mother in Illinois is sharing a heartwarming photo of her son, who finally got to meet Santa Claus after being too anxious to for nearly six years.
Baiz Weerts, 8, has autism, and since he was two years old he struggled with “irrational fears” that kept him from getting close to Santa.
“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,” his mother, Sheila Seelye told TODAY. “So, we sit and watch from afar while he works through his feelings.”
TODAY reports that Baiz has an anxiety disorder called selective mutism. That means he’s fine at home, but shuts down in social settings.
Last month, hiis twin sister, Layna, wanted a photo with Santa. He wanted to get a photo too, but ended up climbing into a shopping cart to cry. Santa then slowly got up from his chair and made his way over. He touched Baiz’s hair and gave him a candy cane.
“He knew just how to calm Baiz down,” Seelye told TODAY. “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.”
Baiz later in bed said: “I believe that was the real Santa mommy, I feel it in my soul.”