View Full Version : The Autism Society & Sensory Friendly Films (I've already got a headache from this)

11-30-2011, 01:49 AM

For those who don't know, Clementine, my daughter, has autism.

The Autism Society (there is a chapter for my state), does Sensory Friendly Films* for parents of Autistic Children. Usually they are kid friendly films (Puss In Boots, The Smurfs, Kung Fu Panda 2). However, they have presented films that would appeal to older audiences (the Harry Potter films starting with Half-Blood Prince).


Now, as most of the known world knows, "Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1" came out November 18. I got an e-mail from the Autism Society saying that they were going to offer the newest Twilight film as a Sensory Friendly Film offering. I was incredibly excited. Clementine & I have seen the first 3 movies. (Twilight and Twilight: New Moon we rented and Twilight: Eclipse we saw in the movie theater). I've been counting the days until Breaking Dawn Part 1 comes out in Sensory Friendly format.

So I get onto moviefone.com and order 2 tickets. One for me and one for Clementine. Everything goes through, and I go to my e-mail account to see if the confirmation is in my In Box. It is. I also notice an e-mail from the Autism Society.

According to the Autism Society e-mail, they have switched movies. Breaking Dawn is no longer going to be the Sensory Friendly Film. Tower Heist is. I know Clementine is not going to be happy to see Tower Heist. I have seen the commercials for he movie, and I'm not even interested in it. (It sounds really stupid).

I call the movie theater that I bought the tickets from. I explain the situation. The nice girl who answered does whatever magic on her end and looks in her computer. As of tonight, the Sensory Friendly Film is still Twilight: Breaking Dawn.

I am going to call in the morning again. Just to make sure.

I am totally beyond pi$$ed.

The Autism Society has been advertising Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 as the Sensory Friendly Film for the past MONTH. This movie is all Clementine can talk about. She's excited that Bella & Edward are getting married and Jacob is going to move in with them and they're all going to live in Bella's house. (This is her world, and that's how she imagines it. :lol:) The Autism Society did not send this e-mail out to members until 5 PM tonight. The night before the highly anticipated sensory friendly film is to be shown, they send an e-mail saying they've switched films.

I am seriouly not going to be happy if I call in the morning and the movie has definitely been changed to Tower Heist (my OCD likes to kick in in times like this and make sure I have all things stuck in a row to make things run smoothly with Clementine in tow). I'm going to send a (snail mail) letter/e-mail to the Autism Society letting them know my displeasure.

*Sensory Friendly Films means the films are either softer or louder as per audience comfort. The lights in the actual theater are left at "normal" (they are not lowered like in a "normal" showing). There are no advertisements (the movie starts exactly at show time). And the kids/teens/young adults can talk/move around and no one will say anything.

11-30-2011, 04:34 AM
Boo hiss on switching horses in the middle of the stream! I'd be very annoyed.

Is this something your local Society does, or is it a widely available thing? I'd love to be pointed to more information on that. My granddaughter's on the spectrum and I'd bet she'd enjoy going to the movies with those adjustments. I wasn't aware that something like that was available.

11-30-2011, 04:42 AM
That's a really interesting activity they do. I hadn't heard of it before.

Sucks that they switched movies on you, especially with the kids being aware early of what they were going to see.

Do they also adjust how the lights are *in* the movie? I don't mean the theatre, but like how they adjust the sound.

I read that a man suffered an epileptic seizure during the flashing lights of the birthing scene. I haven't see the movie and don't intend to until it's free on TMN, but maybe that's a reason?

I figure they can block the scene or something, but I don't know how it works.

11-30-2011, 05:26 AM
This is the main webpage for the Autism Society (http://www.autism-society.org/). You can search by state/county. Also, here is the link to the next Sensory Friendly Film for December 3 (http://www.autism-society.org/get-involved/events/sensory-friendly-films/). The Autism Society usually gets together with the AMC movie theater chain. 1756GR2, not sure if you or your grandchild live near an AMC movie theater. Also, it just might be certain markets for certain films. But i'm not sure.

If the movie has been changed, I don't know what I'm going to do. I might just take her to a different showing on a different day. What makes me mad is that this was going to be a "Girls Night Out" with her & I going to dinner and then to the movies. It was going to be fun (even if it was on a weeknight).

I hope the Autism Society can tell my 8 y.o. daughter why she can't see Twilight: Breaking Dawn tomorrow night.

Slayer, not sure if they can mute/darken the film. Besides, for me, the birthing scene might be one of those "OoO! Mommy has to go potty, let's go" scenes. XD

11-30-2011, 05:44 AM
Wow. What a great idea! I had never heard of sensory-friendly films before! Too bad they suck and possibly switched flicks on you.

Even though................................

.................................................. .......................I despise Twilight! *runs out of the room*

11-30-2011, 05:51 AM
They do slightly similar things down here except it's for mums and bubs.

11-30-2011, 12:33 PM
I think they do something similar, but during the week for the moms & babies. Not sure, but I know they used to do that.

Yeah, I know there are people who dislike Twilight. :D I even invited a friend to go with us. She was like, "You're taking your daughter to see that $hit?" Yes, yes I am. If she wants to see it, she can. And besides, she's bored with Harry Potter. Doesn't even want me to read her any of those books (perhaps when she's older).

The box office opens at 9:30 this morning. I'll call a little after and find out for sure. Then. *sighs* Why can't they just have 2 SFFs? One for each type of movie goer.

11-30-2011, 02:09 PM
Looked up the movie thing and they do that here too!

My daughter Shortie is autistic too, and we're always looking for stuff to do.

11-30-2011, 02:17 PM
It's a wonderful program. I always take her to the Saturday showings. (We just saw Puss In Boots).

I just got off the phone with the Senior Manager of the movie theater. He apologized and said that I don't have to pick up my tickets today, but I can get them on another day & they'll get me into another showing of Twilight. I'm shooting for Dec. 4 at 11:05 AM (the first showing on Sunday).

The Senior Manager did mention that there was going to be a conference call concerning the change of movies. That will be at 2 PM my time. So I'm going to call him about 3:30 and see what new information he can find out.

He completely understood my position (he has a cousin who is autistic). My daughter perseverates (obsesses) about certain things and Twilight is one of those things she perseverates about. Hopefully everything will work out.

11-30-2011, 08:55 PM
Well, I talked to Richard (the senior manager). He said there has been some anecdotal stories about some scene(s) causing healthing concerns. Summit, the Autism Society, and the AMC Theater chain doesn't want to take any chances in the health of children with autism or anything else. Having Twilight as a Sensory Friendly Film has been tabled temporarily as an SFF offering, but there is still the option of returning it to SFF satus if/when Summit has done the research about the health concerns.

I do have the option of taking daughter to the movie on my own. Which I will be doing. Susan, the GM, will be here. She actually remembers me as I spoke with her twice at the beginning of the month (once to call as soon as I got the e-mail offering Twilight in SFF format and one more time to hear that yes, Twilight was definitely going to be SFF). So not only is Dennis, the regular manager, but Susan, the GM, aware that Clementine & I are going to be there Sunday. I hope all things go well. However, according to Richard, if you can't make it through a movie for any reason, you can get your money back. So there is that. I suppose.

Will post sometime Sunday to let you know whether or not we see the entire movie or we have to leave for any reason.

12-01-2011, 07:15 AM
Good luck!

12-01-2011, 03:50 PM
My first reaction is that the situation sucks - when people make plans around things like this and it gets changed without notice, it's a major upheaval.

That being said, couldn't the autistic society come up with a better acronym for this offering?


12-01-2011, 04:10 PM
My first reaction is that the situation sucks - when people make plans around things like this and it gets changed without notice, it's a major upheaval.

That being said, couldn't the autistic society come up with a better acronym for this offering?


It is a major upheaval, especially for a special-needs child. My younger brother has developmental issues as well (mild mental retardation, ADHD and Pervasive Developmental Disorder - he has some autistic tendencies but isn't considered full blown autistic.)

His big thing that he "obsesses" over is NASCAR. Like Calyco's daughter is into Twilight, my brother lives for Sprint Cup racing. He can tell you things that happened back 25 years ago. He's, in essence, a walking encyclopedia of NASCAR.:lol:

But he also lacks the ability at times to accept changes in plans . . . sometimes if you can sit him down and explain what's having to change and why, he's okay wit it. But if you promise you'll do something (or get something for him) he will obsess over it constantly and keep asking fifty million questions about it - and sometimes it'll give Mom or me a giant headache b/c you're having to go over the same stuff over and over and over - it's like playing a record and the needle is stuck in a scratch and can't play past it.

Hopefully Calyco and Clemmentine can get to see the film Sunday. My concern is that the folks at the group who make the decisions on what to show and when apparently didn't take into account how much uprorar they've accidentally created by the last minute switcharoo for not only the clients they serve but their families as well. If they're actually as much in tune with these special needs children as they claim, then they'd understand that making last minute changes can greatly upset these children, as they as a general rule are developmentally incapable of processing and understanding some things such as changes in plans and able to rearrange their train of thought.

We have to be careful at times with my brother when it comes to planning stuff b/c we're never sure how much upset it can cause.

Calyco, my heart goes out to you and your child. There's nothing more aggravating than wanting to go do something that you love and have it all turned upside down at the last minute.

Sending lots of hugs too. :hug:

12-01-2011, 05:47 PM
Thank you DGoddess. :)

I had to explain to her that Bella and Edward are sick. Jacob is taking care of them. However, I spoke to Chief Swann and he told me that Sunday would be a good day for them to get married. :D I'm hoping if she does "act up" that she won't bother anyone else, and we'll sit really close to the exit so we can leave if she does.

I did take her to MacDonald's last night. We picked up dinner for her there and I got Taco Bell. She was happy, but still anxious about going to see Twilight on Sunday. She is very excited. This year, she may actually enjoy the Bella, Edward, and Jacob Barbie dolls I got her last year.

FTR, I had an uncle who lived in Martinsville, VA. It has a big NASCAR track there. Has your brother been there?

ETA: Raps, whatever is wrong with the acronym for Sensory Friendly Films? :angel:

12-01-2011, 05:49 PM
ETA: Raps, whatever is wrong with the acronym for Sensory Friendly Films? :angel:

I get the feeling someone should have told them :p


12-01-2011, 08:12 PM
Science Fiction/Fantasy?

12-01-2011, 09:19 PM
Sexual Freedom Foundation:devil:

12-02-2011, 07:25 AM
Looking for your update on the weekend, CalyCoRose. My stepson was diagnosed ADD as a child but in more recent years it's seeming more and more like he might actually have Asperger's. I remember him going to the movies with us when he was a kid and putting his fingers in his ears during some parts and pretty much putting his head between his knees. At the time I didn't know what to make of it, really, and he never freaked out or asked us not to take him to movies like that anymore. When he got older and sometimes drove my car, he used to say I kept the volume up too loud on the radio. It was probably because I was usually listening to talk radio and needed to have that louder than I would music, but still - he was bothered by it.

12-02-2011, 01:27 PM
BeenThereDoneThat - it's not uncommon for those on the Autism Spectrum to be diagnosed with ADD or ADHD also. Clementine has ADHD. She's taking medication for it, and it seems to be working. (Not as many outbursts).

I have taken her to 2 different movies that were not SFF. One was Tangled (actually, we saw that one 3 times in the movie theater - 1 time in 3D and 2 times in regular). With Tangled, she sat through the previews (all 3 times) and never once moved in her seat the entire time the movie was on. (Hubs came for the 3D offering - he was amazed at her just sitting there). The other was Twilight: Eclipse. She did want to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes. Afterward the 4th time, I said "No more potty. We have to watch the movie." She was good for the rest of the film. However, the big fight scene at the end agitated her (not sure if she was scared by all the werewolves and fighting or the sound was too much. I told her to close her eyes. What she did was get up, turn around and then close her eyes, but she didn't make much of a peep and no complained to me about her afterwards).

12-03-2011, 11:32 PM
Looks like tomorrow is going to be a bust. As of 6:27 PM EST (east coast USA), Clementine is sick. She has a fever, sore throat, headache, and has vomitted twice 14 hours apart. She also hasn't eaten since this morning though she wants a wet wash cloth on her head and wants nothing to drink but ginger ale. I'm hoping hubs takes her to doc-in-a-box as they might have to do strep throat culture & I know I don't have the strength to hold her from trying to fight the nurse and/or doctor. :(

I might send him with her to doc-in-a-box, and I go talk to manager at movie theater.

12-04-2011, 06:41 AM
Poor Clementine. I hope she feels better very soon. :(

12-04-2011, 06:52 PM
Clementine has strep throat. What's fun is she's throwing up. She also has a "slight" sinus infection. And the doctor caught a wheezing sound in her lungs. So she's on Amoxicillian, pain reducer (Tylenol), and a ventolin thingee with a spacer.

So I ended up talking to the manager named Dennis, he said because the tickets were for a past event, it would take from 7-10 business days for the credit to my card. (I asked for a refund because I didn't know when I'd be able to take her). I also got 2 passes to use for whatever movie we wanted to watch. :D

All in all, it was a headache for me, but the AMC Movie Theater was fantastic. And I'll let everyone know when I do take her to see it.

12-05-2011, 08:21 PM
What a bummer for Clemmentine. :( Hope she feels better soon and she can get to see her movie.:hug:

To answer your previous question: my brother has been to several NASCAR races. First one was actually in Martinsville - October 1993. The guy I was dating at the time (aka Onslow) had manged to get tickets for the race so we took my brother with us (we would not have been able to leave the house alive otherwise.:eek::lol:)

He's also been with a big brother had had for a time (we had a program in our area back in the mid to late 1990's that was similar to big brother/big sister, except their clients were developmentally and/or mentally challenged teens and adults.) They went several times to either North Wilkesboro, Charlotte or Rockingham. But that ended a couple of years after when the big brother stopped coming around (he claimed due to family obligations - he and his wife had just had twins, his job relocated him out of town, etc) but it turned out he had failed to notify the program that he wouldn't be able to work with my brother anymore. By the time we'd found that out, the program was going through budget issues and didn't have anyone else to pair my brother with - so much for that.:(

My brother not only follows it on tv, but also online as well. He's got both a desktop PC and my old laptop and he'll have both of them on, listening to in car audio via Track Pass (http://storefront.nascar.com/trackpass). Forget about getting him out of his room when there's a race on - it ain't happening.:lol:

12-21-2011, 04:03 PM
Tuesdays are an "early" day for Clementine. Meaning I take her out of school around 2:30/2:45 and take her to her speech & occupational therapies. So I decided to take her out earlier than usual (11:30 or so). I stopped by a Wendy's drive through (and it turned out to be the SLOWEST :mad: Wendy's drive through in the history of slow drive throughs). We ate our lunch on the way there. Then we found a parking space (at the mall, 5 days before Christmas - W00t!) and using the 2 free passes I got earlier this month, I got us in to see Twilight: Breaking Dawn.

She got a Kid's Pack (soda, popcorn, and fruit snacks), and I got a popcorn & sweet tea. First we went in the theater, and it wasn't even the previews yet. The commercials were pretty loud, and it upset her. So I took her to the potty. Fortunately, both of us had to go. :D

By the time we got back, the previews were playing. She got upset every time the green preview screen showed up. The previews were some I wouldn't have let her look at, but she closed her eyes.

She was excited about the wedding between Edward & Bella. After that was over, she was like, "Is the movie over Mommy?" The honeymoon scenes were boring to her. Then she got excited about Bella having a baby in her tummy. Then she reached over, patted my tummy and asked me if I had a baby in my tummy. :rolleyes: :ashamed:

Overall, she was bored a lot with the movie. But she was good sitting there. She didn't wiggle that much, and not once did she ask to go potty.

The birthing scene was very ... psychedelic in the filming. Lots of fast movement, and flashing lights. Clementine squeaked, and grabbed my arm, and pressed her eyes against me. I didn't mind. I actually didn't watch the birthing scene either.

The werewolves fascinated her. But the fight scene made her nervous and again, she curled up next to me.

I liked how the imprinting was done in the movie. (I haven't read Breaking Dawn yet - I'm still on New Moon where they're in Italy talking to the Volturri). He just went down to one knee like a knight kneeling before their Queen. Which is amusing as I could have sworn he was going to sneak up on Rosalie and try to kill the baby.

Clementine cannot wait until November 2012 when Part 2 comes out. She is so excited about seeing it!

I'm glad we were able to see it.

12-23-2011, 01:46 AM
Thanks for the update CalyCoRose :) Glad she enjoyed it despite the iffy parts for her.