ASIE has been a long-time supporting of shifting Autism Acceptance Month to Autism Acceptance. Check out the Autistic Self-Adocacy Network’s website (ASAN) dedicated website for Autism Acceptance Month, and provides unique programming every April focused on promoting acceptance and inclusion and changing the dialogue about autism from fear, pity, and tragedy to support, acceptance, and empowerment. Their tag line is Acceptance is Action!
My name is A.J. Taylor and I am the General Manager for Galaxy Mission Grove Luxury+ in Riverside, CA. I recently had an eye-opening experience that I would like to share along with some additional information about what happened as a result:
I came to our theatre on a recent day off and watched Monster Trucks with my son mid-week during a slow show. During this particularly slow show, there was only one other family present. It was a father and his son who happened to be a special needs child. During the film the young man was having difficulty with outbursts and yelling out. We were the only other people (my son and I ) in there so I naturally had a talk with my son so that he could understand the situation better and know that the child was not being rude but was not able to control it like himself. (I used the comparison of a child in his class whom he is familiar with)
After about 30 minutes I could see the child’s father starting to get more and more frustrated eventually getting up to leave. I tried to stop him and let them know it wasn’t bothering us and to enjoy the movie but he bolted out of there, even leaving his popcorn behind he was in such a hurry. I know this happened because he was trying to be courteous to me, the other guest in the auditorium. This is an empty weekday and it had me thinking about how many movies may be missed right when they open, or even if the entire family could come out together ever to experience a movie. To me this just seemed so unfair, to spend only this brief moment in the father’s shoes was long enough to know that something needed to be done.
Honestly, I have never seen this type of scenario directly from this perspective, just two dads trying to enjoy a movie and one kid not being able to experience it for fear of disrupting others. I have to tell you I felt really bad for both of them and it has been bothering me since. This certainly was something I was able to see from a new light. This experience made me want to try and do something to help.
While I don’t personally have a relative who lives with Autism I understand what it is like to be a father, and I see a need in our area and we would like to help. Shortly thereafter I spoke with our VP and began doing research. I found out about SENSORY SHOWS and about the AUTISM Society. I am happy to announce that we will be doing sensory shows weekly starting tomorrow at our theater. We will be doing weekly Saturday morning sensory shows to start. I have involved my social media team for advertising help to raise awareness but I fear we are so new to the area (Galaxy Theatres) that our online presence is not strong enough to really make an impact.
My goal is to provide an environment that is fun and worry free so that families who may be affected by Autism or any special need child can have the same awesome experience that my son and I get to have.
Special ASIE Events for April 2017
Brew Rebellion – April 2nd Color the Bar Night starting at 2pm. There will be a live acoustic artist, food vendor, and brews. For every pint sold a dollar will be donated to Coloring for the Future of Autism. Location: 160-176 N Leland Norton Way, San Bernardino, CA 92408 – All ages
Brew Rebellion – April 29th Color the Bar Night starting at 7pm. Check out some live bands and for every pint sold a dollar will be donated to Coloring for the Future of Autism. Location: 33 S San Gorgonio Ave, Banning, CA 92220
Cal Skate Grand Terrace – Bring the whole family out for a fun night out on the rink! On April 28th from 5-9pm Cal Skate Grand Terrace will donate 50 percent of their proceeds to Coloring for the Future of Autism. Come skate for a cause! Location: 22080 Commerce Way, Grand Terrace, CA 92313 – All ages
LuLaRoe Amber Fernbach – LuLaRoe Amber Fernbach will host a sale on facebook starting April 6th to April 7th. 15% of the sales will be donated to Coloring for the Future of Autism. Check in to see all the raffle prizes and a special pair of leggings everyone will want to win. Location: facebook.com/lularoeamberfernbach – All ages
MOD Pizza – Pizza was made for Mondays in April. Check out these locations on the dates listed to and mention this fundraiser for 20 percent of your total to be donated! 4/3 & 4/17 MOD Pizza Arlington Plaza 3444 Arlington Ave. Riverside, CA 4/10 & 4/24 MOD Pizza Fontana 16421 Sierra Lakes Pkwy. Fontana, CA 92336 All ages
Ritual Brewing – Color the Bar Night on April 13th at Ritual Brewing. Live music and brews to support Autism, a dollar per pint sold will go to Coloring for the Future of Autism. Location: 1315 Research Dr, Redlands, CA 92374