Susan's Blog

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Finally, some public accommodations for autistics! Sensory-friendly movies! I am so psyched about this. Although there are no theaters offering this in Boston yet, there are some all over the country. What makes this so great is that it is a sign of growing awareness of other needs in society.

This way of thinking is also an incentive for families to get outside and live their lives, with their families intact. The more people who “get it,” because they are exposed to disability and difference, the more enriched all of our lives can be. Less staring, less ridicule; more welcoming, and more learning.

What I’d like to see is more of this kind of common sense everywhere. I remember when we took all three boys to see the theater production of the Lion King, and when I mentioned Nat’s autism and possible noisiness, we were given the option of buying tickets that were accommodated to any disability. I don’t remember if they were special seats near aisles (for hasty tantrum-driven exits) or special performance days. Although we didn’t avail ourselves of that option, we felt more welcome there because they had offered that. (By the way, I was so proud of them that night — they were so well-behaved and because they so clearly enjoyed the show — that my head nearly exploded.)

Now I’m thinking of taking Nat to see the Bellydance Superstars perform at the Arlington Regent Theater in early December when they tour again. (Sonia, pictured at right, is giving a workshop here at that point and I will take it. Sonia specializes in the art of the drum solo!!!) As you know, the BDSS are my favorite BD performers, and they put on a gorgeous show, with music that transports you. It’s amazing how I don’t even think about “will he be okay? will he need to leave?” anymore, knock wood.

To get tickets for three to the Bellydance Superstars: $60

To be at a point in the life of our family where I can take Nat anywhere he and I want to go: priceless.


On another note regarding theaters and accessibility, I wish more theaters would provide captioned screenings. Yes, I can technically hear, but because of my auditory processing issues, it’s far less stressful when I can just read the dialogue…

I know there are some that do, but the problem is that they’re generally centered in major metro areas – which isn’t so good for those of us that aren’t in major metro areas.

— added by codeman38 on Friday, October 10, 2008 at 10:05 am

So cool! yes, I too have been scanning the lists of the Autism-friendly Movie Screenings waiting for them to get to Philadelphia (hasn’t happened yet!)

Another way to make a performance autism friendly would be to make refunds available if the child cannot tolerate the performance and needs to leave within the first five minutes (how often has that expensive little event happened to us!) or allow you to buy a “half-ticket”, stay till intermission and then leave. Sometimes enough is as good as a feast!

— added by Nancy Bea Miller on Sunday, October 12, 2008 at 9:16 pm