Take Nothing for Granted. My Son with Severe Autism Just Watched an Entire Movie at the Theater
My son, Jaron, has autism. If he’s not interested in something, he’s quick to move on to the next thing. Even his most favorite TV shows only keep his interest for a few minutes. He’ll rarely get through half an hour of anything, let along a full-length feature film.
Then you have to add that we’re in a strange places surrounded by strangers. Thanks to Children’s Village and the Yakima Theaters, my son was able to see a movie for the first time — and he sat down the entire time!It’s hard to express how huge this is for my wife and I. He’s a ball of energy who’s always running and jumping and playing. He’s hard to keep up with. But, he sat and watched a movie. Not just from start to end, but the previews, too!
Children’s Village offers opportunities for children of all sizes, ages and conditions from dance to sports and more. They teamed up with Yakima Cinemas to offer a movie early in the morning so the entire theater was full of people with various levels of autism and other conditions — things that can make it hard to simply watch a movie with everyone else.
We had an escape plan ready to go at any given second, but we never had to use it. We even bought extra snacks in case he wasn’t feeling one. He opted not to eat anything.
The movie was fine (it was “How to Train a Dragon 2″) and he just sat and enjoyed it. He didn’t laugh or cry or anything. Just sat there, gently rocking himself for almost the entire time. He spoke a couple of times, but it wasn’t even his loud, happy voice that he uses often — usually when we’re at a restaurant, which always causes a few heads to turn.