AUTHOR: AP Reporter

Sensory

Sensory Friendly Films and Family Movies

A special experience for any child is a visit to a local movie theater to watch a film with their family. For a child with developmental disabilities or a sensory processing disorder, a visit to a local movie theater isn’t the typical fun experience and may be filled with anxiety and fear. A dark movie theater may be scary to a child with developmental disabilities. If they are diagnosed with a visual impairment, they may not see the screen. Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or autism may be uncomfortable sitting in a movie chair for an extended period of time. Loud noises and bright images may also affect a child’s sensitivity to their surroundings. If it is a three dimensional or 3-D movie, an entirely different set of problems may occur including health risks and the potential for headaches or seizures.

Luckily, more movie theaters recognize the sensory needs of these children. AMC Theaters is a leader in providing sensory friendly films to families of children with developmental disabilities across the US. AMC Theater auditoriums, through a partnership with Autism Society, have their lights brought up and the sound turned down. Families are permitted to bring in their own diet restricted snacks. There are no previews or advertisements and children with disabilities or developmental disabilities are welcome to get up to walk around, dance and even sing. Although the program was initially created to address the needs of children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the sensory friendly steps AMC Theaters has taken, makes it a more enjoyable experience for any child with a sensory processing disorder or disability. To find a theater near you, visit AMC Theaters Sensory Friendly Film Showings or the Autism Society.

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