A department store Santa knew just what to do when he saw Baiz suffering from anxiety while trying to meet him. (Picture: Sheila Seelye/Facebook)

This kind department store Santa who helped calm an eight-year-old boy with autism is what the holidays are all about.

Sheila Seelye, from Illinois, said her son Baiz Weerts had been waiting to see Santa since he was two-years-old, but has always backed out because he was nervous.

In a Facebook post, Seelye wrote her son has an anxiety disorder called selective mutism, which means he suffers ‘irrational fear’ and often shuts down in social settings, although he speaks normally at home.

She said she took Baiz and his twin sister, Layna, to see Santa at a local mall, but Baiz got nervous and lagged behind when they started approaching old Saint Nick.

That’s when the man dressed as Santa approached Baiz as he sat in a shopping car and comforted him, leaving him feeling overjoyed that he finally got to meet Father Christmas.

Seelye wrote: ‘He could see Baiz sitting in the back of the cart upset (with) himself because he wants so bad to go see him but his anxiety wins.’


‘When Layna was done, Santa came over to Baiz so slow and sweet.’

epa08073066 Vehicles pinned under a damaged market in the quake-hit town of Padada, Davao Del Sur province, Philippines, 15 December 2019. An earthquake of magnitude 6.8 shook the island of Mindanao in southern Philippines on December 12, a region in which there have been several deadly earthquakes in recent months. EPA/CERILO EBRANOAt least one child killed as the Philippines is hit by another earthquake

Baiz can be seen crying as Santa approached him – but Seelye said they were happy tears.

Santa then handed the boy a sticker and candy cane while running his hand through Baiz’s hair, comforting him and telling him it’s ok.

‘By the end of Santa talking to him he was crying the happiest cry I’ve ever seen from him. He had a smile while crying,’ she said.

‘He knew how to calm Baiz down. He kept telling him, “you’re OK buddy. You’re going to be OK’

Biaz, Santa
Baiz, pictured with his twin sister Layne, suffers from ‘selective mutism,’ meaning he shuts down in social situations, often in public, because of high anxiety. (Picture: Facebook)

Seelye said the encounter could not have come at a better moment as Baiz had been in and out of the hospital with health problems.

‘The timing was perfect. Santa picked the right child at the right time,’ she said.’