Little Man LOVES Toy Story. I mean all out perseverative love. It is all Toy Story all the time and he has the word ANDY written in sharpie marker on his foot to prove it. About two months ago we saw the first coming attractions for TS3. "MOM!!! Is it June 18th yet????" And so it started. June 18th circled on the calendar, June 18th written on his chalkboard, June 18th talked about incessantly to strangers on the street. You get the picture.
Except, June 18th came and went. We had tried the movies once before for Alvin and the Chipmunks and it was a bust. I had brought noise cancelling headphones and tried to prepare him for the dark, but it was just too much. Too dark, too loud, too many people. So I was nervous about Toy Story 3 at the movies to begin with. But then I realized it was also a 3D movie that required you to wear glasses. And it got fantastic reviews which were sure to pack the theaters. Now I was sure this was a recipe for disaster. So this epic event, June 18th, the NEW Toy Story that was LM's greatest wish came and went without us. How do you explain to a 5 year old that it's just too much for him to handle - that he won't really enjoy the thing he enjoys the most? To quote a neuro-typical 5 year old ... IT'S NOT FAIR.
Luckily for my family and the 1 in 20 other families who have children with SPD, the Autism Society of America and AMC have come to our rescue. Once a month they team up to offer a Sensory Friendly Film. From the AMC website - "The program provides a special opportunity for families to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment. The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down, and the audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing." In the case of Toy Story 3 the film was also shown in 2D so no glasses were needed.
So we just got back and it was absolutely everything I had hoped it would be. LM had his hands over his ears for the first 5 minutes, but from then on he did GREAT. It was Bear's first movie ever also - and a great experience for him as well. Best of all, Rob and I were able to truly enjoy a family outing. No worries about disturbing others, just able to delight in the awe of our children. Better than any date night we've ever had.
So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to AMC for being so sensitive to our children's sensitivities. And of course a big shout out to the Autism Society of America for putting together another great resource.
For more info visit: www.amcentertainment.com/SFF/
Sing and Play the Sensory Way!