I thought going to the cinema would be a significant part of my life as a parent. I was sure by now we’d have been numerous times to see the latest cartoons and family movies, maybe even watching the superheroes by now. But it’s always been an experience that has seemed too far out of reach.
Today we were able to change all of that when me and Tommy went to an ‘Autism Friendly’ showing of Toy Story 4 at ODEON Cinemas
What’s an Autism Friendly screening?
Well it meant was there were no adverts before the film, it started exactly on time meaning we could time our arrival perfectly. The sound and lights were lower so as not to be a too overwhelming environment. You’re also able to take your own food and drink, which would make life so much easier for the many families out there who have fussy eaters. Not that Tommy was able to make it past the sweets counter without getting a tub. (I haven’t been to the cinema for 4 years and couldn’t quite believe the prices, but that’s another story 😂)
But the main difference with an autism friendly showing, is that it doesn’t matter if you get out of your seat and make any noise.
Everyone in the screening was another autism family, so it wasn’t a big deal when Tommy screamed. Nor was it a big deal when he ran up and down our aisle, flapping, bouncing away, standing up, sitting down, lying on the floor, etc, etc.
And because of that, everyone there was relaxed, giving a knowing nod and smile instead of a tut or a shhhhh!
Which meant we were able to last the whole film, and got to enjoy the cinema experience without worrying about what everyone else thought.
I’m not 100% sure how much of it Tommy watched, or understood. I’m not sure if he enjoyed it as much as I hoped he would. But he lasted the whole film, he didn’t get upset, and on the way out I got a huge cuddle. So overall I’d call that a very successful trip 😁
Going to the cinema is a simple experience that many would take for granted. Yet in reality it would usually be so far out of reach for families like mine.
Yet thanks to Dimensions, the charity who organises these screenings across the UK, today we managed something that we’ve never done before.
Making the world a more accessible and understanding place doesn’t take much ❤️
**For further details about the monthly Autism Friendly Screenings please go to the Dimensions website by clicking HERE