Autism Friendly Film Screenings

Now I don’t know how many of you have tried going to the cinema with an autistic child?   We tried once to go with our toddler and meltdown moo.  After the nightmare that was we vowed we would probably not go again….. there are ony so many narky looks I can take.

I understand our situation is a tad different to most others.  As I’m in a wheelchair the cinema is a bit of a nightmare anyway and as I don’t like having to stay in my wheelchair the odd looks we get when I explain that I’ll get my husband to transfer to a seat drives me mad.  It’s like the box office think that I am cemented into my chair, let them try sitting in one for hours, it’s not bloody comfortable!

Anyway I digress.

As I said we had decided to never go to the cinema again.  M’s shrieking and wanting to run around; A stealing his sweets, him having a meltdown and violently attacking her, all of this boiled down to the cinema not being an enjoyable experience.

However, as I was surfing the net, trying to find out whether the Hobbit would be on come Valentines day (our first chance to go out together in almost a year) I came across a heading that said Rise of the Guradians “Autism Friendly Screening”.  What’s this I thought, could it possibly be the answer to my deprived, film loving ears.

The short answer was “Yes”.

As I looked up what this entails I was pleasantly surprised to find that it means the film is only open to those with ASD, their carers, friends and families.  The lights are only dimmed, not switched off; the sound is quieter — this, if you do not know about autism and sensory processing disorders is great as quite often those with autism have a huge problem with excessive noise, the dark, etc……..  and it was fine if they talked loudly, shrieked, made a lot of noise and got up and walked around every five seconds.

Fastastic thought I.  I told hubby and we agreed to make a second cinema going attempt.

We got back this afternoon and I have to say it was great.  Although we took M’s chewee and his ear defenders we did not even need them — Amazing!  He shouted and screamed a little but the limited number of people and all the other changes meant he was relatively calm and dare I even say, a little bit more “normal”.

When we got back I looked up about Autism Friendly Screenings and I found that there is a charity called Dimensions and that they have set up monthly autism friendly screenings with Odeon and with Cineworld, twice a month.  What brilliant news, a chance for us parents of autie children to be able to do the normal things (and believe me, when your  a disabled parent yourself this becomes all the more important).

If you want to try one out check out the Dimensions website (click on the link above), the screenings for January are over but just think, you’re only a maximum of a month away from your next cinema experience!

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