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5 tips for taking your special needs child to the movies

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Many families enjoy taking their kids to the movies for an afternoon out or as a treat. When you have a special needs child, that can be very difficult because the high likeliness of over stimulation that is bound to happen. There are usually too many people, sounds, bright colors, or other challenges that make going to he movies difficult for special needs families. On Dec. 1 Babble shares helpful tips to make going to the movies a bit easier.

  1. Know when to go- Some people like to go to the opening of a show. This isn't practical when you are taking a special needs child. For best results, go a few days or even weeks after a movie comes out and only go during the day. Sometimes even the change from daylight to night while in the theater can become overwhelming to special needs children.
  2. Inquire about times for special needs viewing- Many of the AMC Theaters offer a reserved time for those with sensory issues. These times are usually during the day when the theater is quieter and has less people. The movie itself is often quieter, the lights aren't as dark, and there are less people there to be a distraction.
  3. Bring a comfort item- You never know when the mood will hit that your child will simply become overwhelmed with the movie, or a sensory issue such as the seat being too scratchy, or the air too cool. Bringing a comfort item that your child enjoys is a good idea so that they have something familiar when they start to have difficulties.
  4. Use the concession stand as a reward- There are all kinds of goodies in the concession stand that will likely appeal to your child whether you buy them a special drink, a popcorn, or a candy. Use this time to reward good behavior with a treat that they don't usually get at home.
  5. Go local- It's more than likely that the best theaters with the super comfortable chairs are all the way across town. However, if you're taking your child for the first time to see a movie, choose a local theater so that if a meltdown occurs or they really just want to go home, there won't be a huge fight or a long trip to get there.

Do you have any other great tips to make the movie going experience better for a child with special needs? Share in the comment section below.

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