AMC Sensory Friendly Movies lineup for 2014

amc sensory firendlyFamily outings are a great way to spend time with your kids – you build memories and bond over fun activities and events. But for many kids with special needs, the typical family outing involves all sorts of challenges and obstacles that can make the experience overwhelming and frightening. AMC and the Autism Society of America have joined forces to offer first-run family friendly movies in theaters across the country, giving families impacted by autism, sensory integration issues or other conditions a chance to bring their children into a comfortable, accepting setting once a month.

During the special screenings the house lights are kept on, which is a huge relief to anyone who is afraid the dark or who likes to wander without tripping. Speaking of wandering, audience members don’t have to sit still – they are free to pace, roam, rock or dance. Many special needs individuals are sensitive to loud sounds, so the sound is turned down during these shows. This can help ease the anxiety about whether the movie is going to suddenly jump up in volume – it won’t. Guests are also permitted to bring in outside snacks and drinks that align with any special dietary needs.

In addition to allowing families to have a day out together, the movies also give the kids a common experience with their typical peers. Since the films are first-run, chances are good that classmates have also seen it in the past few weeks. This gives some children the opportunity for social connection (wasn’t it funny when…I liked it when…). Even the characters on lunchboxes and t-shirts will be familiar to the special needs child, easing anxiety and helping them feel like they are part of the group instead of an outsider.

Each monthly screening takes place at 10am local time and the admission price is reduced. Here is the 2014 lineup:

  • Saturday, January 25, 2014 – NUT JOB
  • Saturday, February 15, 2014 – THE LEGO MOVIE
  • Saturday, March 29, 2014 – MUPPETS MOST WANTED
  • Saturday, April 19, 2014 – RIO 2
  • Saturday, May 31, 2014 – MALEFICENT
  • Saturday, June 21, 2014 – HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
  • Saturday, July 26, 2014 – PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE
  • Saturday, September 27, 2014 – DOLPHIN TALE 2
  • Saturday, October 25, 2014 – BOOK OF LIFE
  • Saturday, November 29, 2014 – HOME 3-D
  • Saturday, December 13, 2014 –PADDINGTON

fun for all at sensory friendly films

Save me some popcorn!

Sensitive Screenings are gaining popularity across the country, and groups such as Music for Autism are now offering sensitive concerts. In England these are called “gentle” performances, which is a fitting name but I prefer “sensitive” since it better fits the audience.

What outings are available for special needs families in your area? Let me know!

About the Author

Rosie Reeves is a writer and mother of three; including one with special needs. She works side-by-side with her daughter’s therapists, teachers and doctors. Rosie has also served as the Los Angeles Special Needs Kids Examiner. She can be reached at Rosie is a member of the PedSafe Expert team


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