Going out with a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be very difficult. Outbursts, tantrums, and loud voices are some of the behaviors a child with ASD may display. While parents often want to take their children out, the stress of having to manage these behaviors can be overwhelming. This is why many families appreciate the 2009 collaboration between AMC movie theaters and the Autism Society that lead to the Sensory Friendly Films program.
Children with ASD often experience hypersensitivity with many of their senses and can become overwhelmed when over stimulated. While most children enjoy going to the movies, you can imagine how the standard movie theater (e.g. dark room, loud surround sound speakers) has the potential to be overwhelming to a child with ASD.
The Sensory Friendly Films program provides an atmosphere that can take the pressure off families with children with ASD, who are often concerned about both their child’s comfort and other community members’ responses. The AMC movie theaters website states “The program provides a special opportunity for families to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment. The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing!”
The Sensory Friendly Films’ special screenings for newly released children’s movies are shown monthly at 10am on Saturdays. The upcoming schedule includes:
April 30 – Rio
June 4 – Kung Fu Panda 2
July 2 – Cars 2
July 23 – Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
The Sensory Friendly Films program is available at select AMC locations throughout the country. GO HERE for a list of participating theaters!