Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Speak up and ask

Connor and Daddy had been counting down for over a month to the day when Cars 2 would be released. Unfortunately after all our preparations Connor was only able to tolerate other children for about 20 minutes before informing Daddy "I gotta get outta here!"

I am so proud that he informed Daddy that he needed to leave rather than bolting. I really wish he could have enjoyed more of it.

I call my friend M and told her of the problem. Miss M has a boy the same age as Connor and they share a similar diagnosis, so I know she can empathize. She tells me about a theater in Newport (hours away) that has a sensory friendly movie once a month. I find myself whining "That's so far to travel with him for a situation that may or may not work." Wha
"Gas is so expensive" Wha Wha

So my friend Miss M calls the theater 5 minutes from my house and tells them.
"You know the theater up in Newport has a sensory friendly movie once a month and that is something the kids and parents around here could really use."
The manager: "We can do that. What do we need to do?"
Miss M: "Only dim the lights and turn the volume down."
The manager: "OK, and we can block off that theater for only special needs children."
Miss M: "Great, but a lot of these kids have dietary allergies."
The manager: "They bring their own snacks and drinks in."
Miss M: "Great! When can we do it?"
The manager: "How about this Saturday at 10am it will be $5 a person."
Miss M: "Thank you thank you thank you."

That one phone call made amazing things happen. That Saturday over 400 people with sensory issues and their parents got to watch Cars2 in a theater. They had to open 4 theaters and the staff was awesome. They let our local FEAT (Families for Effective Autism Treatment) set up a table inside the lobby. They were at every ones beck and call. They informed Miss M that they would like to start doing that once a week even though Miss M told them she couldn't promise that big of a turn out every week.

Not a single meltdown was had and if there had been, so what every person there would have understood. A few of the most moving things were the adults with autism coming in excited to see a movie at the theater and not at home and the mother that told Miss M that this was the first time ever that she even considered bringing her 19yr old son to the movies.

Thank you Miss M for speaking up and asking for us. You are continuing proof that one person can make a difference.

1 comment:

merry weather said...

I'm so glad you're back :-)

This is a very positive story with two points:
Being different
And making a difference.

The good life starts when everyone is "heard" I think. Bravo.