Children with special needs enjoy low-key Halloween event at Calgary mall

Southcentre Mall has been hosting the Sensory Halloween event for the past several years.

Officials at a Calgary shopping centre brought back a special Halloween event for children with sensory processing disorders and other special needs.

Southcentre Mall, along with Autism Calgary, welcomed 50 children to their Sensory Halloween Initiative.

The gathering, held inside the mall, provided a series of trick-or-treating stations in a quiet supportive environment.

Mall staff were dressed up and handed out candy as well as non-food goodies to children.

Families were also able to capture a memory of the experience with a photo using a Halloween-themed backdrop.

Southcentre Mall has prided itself in these types of initiatives to welcome members of the community and providing an opportunity for children to enjoy the holiday in a safe, calm environment.

"Creating inclusive, community focused initiatives is an important and valued component of our culture at Southcentre and this is something our team looks forward to hosting every year," said Alexandra Velosa, marketing manager with Southcentre Mall in a release.

"We hope to lead by example and inspire our community to consider how we can be more inclusive in providing opportunities for children with unique needs to enjoy special childhood experiences that they may not otherwise have access to."

In December, the mall also hosts a Sensory Santa event, where children with special needs can enjoy the spirit of the holidays in safe environment.

Officials say demand for both programs has increased over the years and staff have expanded their programs to meet that need.