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Movies that make sense

Autism Society partners with city cinema for initiative

The early morning screening of “Puss in Boots” on Saturday, Nov. 12, didn’t stop kids from grabbing a bucket of popcorn to enjoy.

The early morning screening of “Puss in Boots” on Saturday, Nov. 12, didn’t stop kids from grabbing a bucket of popcorn to enjoy. Submitted photo

— Kruiswijk said children with autism tend to have sensory challenges, which impede some from going to a normal movie showing. The loud, noisy movies and pitch-dark theaters can make autistic children uncomfortable. For the sense-able showings the sound is turned down, the lights are kept up slightly and children can get up and walk around if needed.

After some practice in the formatted setting, Kruiswijk said some children learn proper behaviors and can attend a traditional showing successfully.

“It is also a learning opportunity and some of the kids will go on to join regularly scheduled movies, but some will always need a sensory accessible format,” she said.

The Elks members also create a T-Shirt for the volunteers and workers to wear during the event and received some training on what to expect.

“Everyone was trained in order to be more sensible and knowable about autism … so they knew what to expect and would be welcoming and accommodating,” Kruiswijk said.

She said the society is looking forward to continuing the partnership with Bow Tie and is always looking for support from the community. Donations can be made through the group’s local website at www.AlbanyAutism.org.

Even though the screening on Saturday was in the morning, it didn’t stop kids from hitting up the concession stand, which was opened early for the movie.

“It was 10 in the morning, but everyone was eating popcorn,” she said.

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