KITCHENER -- The jolly man in red has been making special visits at Fairview Park mall in Kitchener.

It's part of the Sensitive Santa program, designed with Autism Speaks Canada for children with autism and their family members.

The program allows children on the autism spectrum to enjoy the annual tradition without the sensory overload of lineups, crowds and noise.

"Earlier in the morning, lesser crowds, dim lights. Very soothing environment so that way the children and the family can really enjoy the time with Santa," says Fairview Park general manager Lillian Stojanoski.

This is the first year Sensitive Santa has made a stop at the mall.

All of the proceeds go to Autism Speaks Canada.

"I think the more we offer, the better knowledge people will get of it," said Krista Clinch, the south central Ontario regional coordinator for Autism Speaks Canada.

She also says that based on customer feedback, this is something they wish to continue.