Midlands Family With Autistic Son Hopes Santa Will Pull Off Christmas Miracle

Local mom contacted groups like the Salvation Army, Angel Tree, even churches for help to make Christmas special for her children, but there’s one problem-- the age limit for the children they accept. 


Columbia, SC (WOLO)– Christmas is a magical time for children, but many families know it can be hard to make the season special when financially it is hard to make ends meet.  Suzette Nieves contacted groups like the Salvation Army, Angel Tree, even churches for help to make Christmas special for her children, but there’s one problem– the age limit for the children they accept.  Suzette says her 3-year-old daughter was accepted with no problem, but her son is a different story.


“We were in the store one Christmas eve, and we were shopping for stuff and he was like, ‘Mom, Santa’s coming,’ and everybody sort of turned around and looked. But he was just like, ‘What? Don’t you guys believe?’” Suzette recalled a shopping experience with her son just a few years ago. Suzette’s son, David, is 29-years-old and has Pervasive Developmental Disorder, which is a high functioning form of Autism. Suzette says he has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old. 


“And I actually saw him a few times when I was a kid. My parents actually got mad at me. Remember? When I saw him and he was sitting down with you guys in our house in Clinton? So yeah, I actually got to see him. And it’s pretty cool,” David said. 


Suzette is now on disability because she suffers from seizures and they are now living in an extended stay hotel. She says their entire life has changed and she is struggling to find the Christmas spirit. But Christmas is one of David’s favorite holidays and he knows the true magic Christmas holds.


“I also think one of the best things about Christmas is also the special dinners and the other stuff you have along with the family. Because you’d sit down and eat. You would talk and just enjoy that time you have. And it’s also good because life goes by so fast, so it’s also good you enjoy that time with whoever you’re gathering with,” David said. 


Even though things are tough, David will put out milk and cookies and wait for Santa to stop by his house on Christmas Eve. David said he knows that there are some grinches who just don’t believe Santa will come through this year.


“I go along with their opinion, but at the same time, I know he is real. Because, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. And a lot of people have lost the Christmas spirit which I don’t know why they have because Santa is real. A lot of people say, you know, the parents do it. But I’m thinking, you know, all the presents under the tree and a lot of the stuff is expensive and I don’t think it’d be easy for the parents to afford it. For Santa, he can get it without a problem. So it’s very easy for him to do,” David said. “As long as I have the spirit that’s all that matters you know.”


“It’s good to see him believe and be happy and keep the spirit. Like you said, he tells other people to just believe. And who doesn’t want to hear that?


If you want to learn how to help the Nieves family, go to the GoFundMe page set up here. 


*If link above is not working visit: www.gofundme.com/santa-fund-for-david

Categories: Local News, News, Richland