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December 28, 2018

What Happens to Special Children Inside the Movie Theater?

My boys have been so excited about seeing the new Spider-Man movie. For my fellow ASD parents you understand how excitement turns into fixation. LOL!

We finally made it to the movies and we have our snacks and noise-canceling headphones. As we walk into the theater my youngest son starts to whimper and pace as my oldest son and nephew proceed into the theater. My son Zavier is 7 yrs. old and he looks at me and say “ I’m scared of the previews.” I explain to him that the previews hadn’t started and that we can drop off our snacks and wait outside the theater until the previews are over. I understand that previews stresses him out because some of the movies are scary for a child with anxiety. We also discussed if he felt the need to run that he can not leave the theater and to stay in the entryway. ( Always have a anxiety plan)

Once the movie starts he has his headphones on and he relaxes and within 15 minutes he jumps up and runs down the stairs and into the theater entry way. I run after him and says “ I’m scare that Venom is going to be in the movie.” This moment right here is when commercials are not always a good thing for kids. I explained to him that Venom is not even in this move and we go back to our seats. After 5 minutes he jumps up and he runs back down the stairs and I slowly followed him and I heard him screaming “Mommy! Mommy!” Because he’s panicked and he has noise canceling headphones and does not realize how loud he is. As I raced to him he says “It looked like something scary was about to happen.” I ask him does he want to leave and he responds “ No, I want to see the movie. But I’m so scared.” It’s sad when you can see a child who really wants to see a movie but they can’t get pass their anxiety. After the third attempt to sit in the seats we watched the movie standing up in the entryway of the theater so he can back away from the screen and come back when he’s ready. Towards the end of the movie my 11 yr. old who also has anxiety runs down the steps and I’m like “What’s up?” and he responds “ This move is intense. I just need a minute to catch my breathe.” He calms down and goes back up the stairs.

I know that if Zavier had a visual storyboard before he went to the movies he could have rally enjoyed himself. A visual story board are pictures of what the child can expect when they go to the movies, amusement parks, plane rides, and etc. I wonder if there are visual storyboards for major kids movies? If not, how can we get them?

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