Sensory Issues vs the Movies

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by Jane Ashton

One thing I used to like to do before I had Oscar was go to the cinema. 

When you have a family you presume that this is something you will then all do together.

But, of course things do not always work out like that.

Since I have had Oscar, I think that I have only been to the cinema once.

We have never been as a family.

Now, Oscar is four, I feel he is old enough for us to try and take him to the cinema but I also know that he probably would not be able to cope with the experience.

He does not like loud noises so he is not going to like the volume levels in the cinema. 

The whole room being in semi-darkness probably won’t help either.

Last year I discovered that quite a lot of cinemas in the UK do ‘Autism Friendly Screenings’ for children with autism and other special needs and their families. 

This is in association with Dimensions-UK.

The screenings are usually on either the first or last Sunday morning of the month depending on the cinema. 

The advantage of going to one of these screenings is they turn the volume right down,leave the lights on low and do not show any adverts or trailers, just the film. 

You can also take your own food and drink in (which saves having to pay the extortionate cinema prices) and you can move round in the cinema during the film. 

One of the mums at parent group also mentioned that our local cinema have a ‘time out’ room, but I do not know if all cinemas have this facility.

There are also wheelchair places available if needed, but you have to book these places in advance as they can be limited.

The benefits of going to one of these screenings are you can go to the cinema as a family but if things do not go to plan all the other people sat in that room are in the same boat as you.

Hopefully, there should be no-one in the room shouting at you to keep your child under control!

I am waiting for a nice animated film to be shown before I take Oscar to one of these screenings. 

I was going to take him last year but the film that was showing was Maleficent which I thought may be a bit frightening for him for his first cinema experience.

I am not sure how he will like it but until we try we will not know. 

If he doesn’t like it then we will wait till he is older and try again. 

I will let you know how we get on.

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