Home > Community, Events, Social Activities > Sensory Friendly Films for Families Affected By Autism, Sensory Disorders, Rambunctious Toddlers, or a Fondness Of Hearing

Sensory Friendly Films for Families Affected By Autism, Sensory Disorders, Rambunctious Toddlers, or a Fondness Of Hearing

The last movie we took James to was the Harry Potter finale (awesome!!!). The previews alone were so loud that I kept glancing at James to see if he was getting uncomfortable . Up until a couple of years ago James would cry with his hands over his ears until the movie was well underway, though he continued to insist on going to the movies (for fun!).

James was staring rapturously at the movie screen, completely unaware of anything else around him. I shifted in my seat and looked around – did anyone else feel like they were at a rock concert? Did anyone else notice the soft tinkle of my eardrums shattering? It had obviously been a while since I had gone to the movies.

It’s not just autistic kids who don’t like the dark, loud theater. I for one am fearful that I will be exiled as soon as my 2 yr old announces “I have to poop now” or when James laughs LOUDLY at something that might not be remotely funny. And I haven’t even considered taking my 1 yr old, even with my husband. Just the thought of navigating all 3 kids makes me shudder.

Until now! The SFF series by AMC theaters is geared toward families with autistic children, or in my case one ASD child plus 2 babies that might enjoy a movie but won’t able to sit quietly in the dark for all 90 minutes. The program is running AMC theaters all over the country including several locations right here in the city. 2011-2012 movies start November 5th with Puss in Boots, but I’m really looking forward to taking the gang on December 3rd to The Muppets.

During our first meeting this Friday morning (conveniently all about extracurricular and social activities) there will be a sign up if you want to meet up with other families for a movie outing once a month. If you can’t make the meeting but want to sign up just shoot me an email. I’ll send a reminder out the week before each film with the theater location and other details. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even go crazy and find a special needs friendly place to get lunch afterward, too!



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 audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing!

The idea for the program began with a request from a parent with an autistic child for a special screening at AMC Columbia Mall 14 in Columbia, MD. More than 300 children and parents attended the first screening.

We are thrilled to now offer the program at many locations nationwide — please click here for a complete list of participating theatres. As a leading theatrical exhibition company, we are so proud to be making a difference in the estimated 1.5 million Americans living with an autism spectrum disorder by offering families a chance to see a movie together — often for the very first time.

November 5 – Puss in Boots

December 3 – The Muppets

January 7 – The Adventures of Tin Tin

February 25 – The Secret World of Arrietty

March 10 – Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

April 7 – Pirates! Band of Misfits

All shows are at 10:00 am local time.
*Dates and films are subject to change.

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