Get up and excuse yourself from the theatre.
if she says what's wrong...tell her.
My gosh, it makes no sense that anyone no matter what their condition, should be allowed to ruin a movie for everyone else.
My 5 year old gs sometimes talks during a movie because he gets bored. I take him out. I am not putting up with that.
Her 17 yr old is a different situation. By his age, if he could stop talking he probably would. So she should not go to a movie with him, in my opinion. You cannot threaten or discipline him because those tactics will be counter productive. His therapist should be desensitizing him to going to movies. This is what therapy is for!
I think it can be done.
If this irreparably harms the friendship, it cannot be helped.
It is better to be honest with your friend than to keep hiding away.
Looking at it from your friends point of view...if it was me I would be incredibly hurt if some one said this to me.I would feel , AGAIN, that the world is against anyone who has special needs, if you can't rely on your friends for support then who can you etc.
It would touch a VERY raw nerve, my precious child being criticised for being autistic....or me being criticised for the way I care for him...and remember - caring for a special needs child is 24/7...HARD WORK....put your ownn wishes /wants/ needs on hold to some extent.
To sum up...it would be a real 'kick in the teeth' and would break my heart.
A quick thought- in some movie theatres in Britain they have special showings for autistic and special needs people. You could find out if there is anything like that in your area and suggest a trip to it. This would be a very supportive action to your friend....and a kind way of helping her to find something enjoyable for her boy , as well as you being more comfortable with it!
Another thought - if no special showings - I take my child to 'kids club' - the movie theatres have special showings on saturday and sunday mornings - cheaper,and full of kids, including noisy little ones! You could invite them along, say there is a film you really want to see, and then casually remark at the end that it was great that there were lots of kids making noise and that no one minded! We must do it again etc!
Sadly parents of such children have to grow horribly thick skins to cope with the staring and the rude remarks given out by passers by who don't understand the problems. There is a lot of heart ache that you have to go through before being as brave as your friend..who is standing up for her child in an admirable way.
I do feel quite strongly that autistic / special needs people shouldn't be pushed into the victorian era of 'not to be seen or heard'. Why should they be excluded from activities that are enjoyable to them as well as others?
Please be gentle with your friend, your friendship is probably more important to her than you realise.
It's hard when everyone around you is talking about their kids, what they are doing, about their independent future plans etc...and you have to smile and be interested (which you are) but at the back of your mind is that thought "what about my boy?" they are so easily over looked by our friends, but they are just as precious important as the ones embarking on life LOL
i know this probably won't be a popular response but if he cannot keep quite in a movie theater then he should not be there. afterall, the one thing people expect at a theater is for the other movie goers to be quite. to be honest, if i was your friend i would feel stressed about others (who probably do not know that her son has a disability) causing a scene about the constant talking.
also, this applies to all people and not just people with special needs. i remember saying to my husband that it is not a good idea to keep taking our toddlers (typical kids) out to restaurants. we were stressed, the people around us were stressed and the kids wanted no part of it. so who was having a good time????????? i couldn't even digest my food.
i'm sure there are plenty of other activities your girlfriend's son enjoys, just do more of those things. if he is able to understand and just not being corrected, then that is your girlfriends fault. we expected the same behavior from all of our kids and never excused our special needs son from that rule.
Last edited by MOM23ANGELS; 08-01-2008 at 06:14 PM.
Hello- I have an autistic 17 yr old son,that said.... Especially when he was younger we too had issues with the large,loud,and confined movie experience to say the least.
I'm curious, is autism (or somewhere within the ASD catagory) the "special needs" you are speaking of that your GF's son has?
I ask because there are so many sensory issues that can be involved,he may be talking because of overstimulation,even if he wants to go to the movie.
I do see your point of view,and yet from the flipside (being the mom of a 17 yr old w/autism),I would take it to heart if my GF brought her frustrations to my attention-especially because the movie issue has gone for quite a while and nothing has been said before. I know this has been bothersome to you,but if she really doesn't have a clue,which sounds quite possible-denial is a powerfull thing-a very gentle approach is probebly a good idea. Good luck with this
***A side note here though.. One time my ex-husband had taken our son to see some movie,and called me from the theater saying that I had to come get him- that they had kicked him out-(he had spilled his popcorn and cried a little).The "district" manager happened to be right there and I asked him if he'd ever heard of the Americans With Disabilities Act.... After a long pause and alot of people wispering in the background,the answer was yes,followed by an appology and get this...... This well known very large movie company ISSUED A FULL REFUND AND FREE MOVIE PASSES TO MY SON FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR*** I got them in the mail every week All year long, I didn't ask for these,or demand anything at all, I just asked a simple question.
So for the parents who read this thread and may have been offended or annoyed at the notion that your kid is different and therefore you should have to hide at home and wait for pay per view or a dvd..... Our special kiddos do have rights,(BUT obviously not to have free reign to annoy people JUST FOR FUN).
I don't think anyone on here is "annoyed" with special needs children and no one insinuated that children should be "hidden". we are all in the same boat here and offer support and advice to each other.
Yes, our children do have rights...........just like every other person in society.
expecting to enjoy a movie (in a quiet theater) is just a given.
Last edited by MOM23ANGELS; 08-25-2008 at 04:15 PM.
No..i am not annoyed at the boy..i am more annoyed at my friends "choice" to ignore the obvious.
last wk she mentioned going to a movie i wanted to see..I said why not leave (john) at home & make it a girls nite out?....she said oh no...he wouldnt like that..so i said well, He DOES have a tendency to talk through a movie & he would be bored seeing a "chick flick"
her response was...Oh, I never noticed he talked ;-(
2 days later she called to ask if i wanted to see the movie with her & john...as if our earlier conversation never happened!~
She doesnt even acknowledge he has a disability..he goes to a special needs school & sees a speech therapist once a wk...im sorry to say it has not helped..i can understand maybe 20% of what he says. I have never seen her tell him to do his homework or encourage him.
he cannot read & can only print his first name..does not know his address or phone #
I just feel he has missed out on so many opportunities when he was younger b/c of my GF's attitude. EXPL: she had free access to a homecare assistant/home tutour
/ big brother/free summer camp...etc..
All of which she thought was a waste of time b/c "he didnt need it"
Sonic, a non-threatening way to talk to your friend involves being honest and stating your feelings. For example, I'm sorry, I can't go to the movie if John tags along. His loud talking embarrasses me and stresses me out, I can't enjoy the movie, and I just can't put myself through that again because I'm angry when I get home, and that isn't good for me. Or whatever it is YOU'RE feeling in the situation. Use "I" statements rather than talking about what it is her son does, or what you believe she has failed to do, or what you think she ought to do. You have feelings and needs that are just as important as anyone else's, and it's perfectly ok for your needs to be met. You may have to attend the movie with a different friend to get the relaxation and enjoyment you desire. We cannot control other people's choices, but we can make choices for ourselves that are in our best interests. A friend who doesn't take into consideration the feelings of her friends isn't much of a friend, in my opinion.
Here's something from ADA Title III: Public Accomodations.
Public accommodations must comply with basic nondiscrimination requirements that prohibit exclusion, segregation, and unequal treatment.
The other movie goers have the perfect right to go complain to the manager about any disruptive behavior that keeps them from getting the experience they paid for. Being disabled doesn't give one the right to disrupt other people's lives, and if the theatre would toss out a non-disabled loud teen, then to make sure there is no "unequal treatment", they would be required to toss out a disabled loud teen. Most of these laws say something to the effect of "enforce them unless it causes unnecessary hardship". My interpretation is that losing all your customers would constitute "unnecessary hardship". When my son had his meltdowns at restaurants or other public places as a child, we gathered up our stuff and left as quickly as possible so as not to disrupt the other patron's quiet evening. That's common courtesy. There's no reason for any disruptive child/person to become the center of attention everywhere they go, and have no consequences.
I have little to no patience with parents who let their children disrupt public events. Crowds and large groups of people stress me to no end, and when I work up the ability to finally go out in public, major disruptions such as loud people, noisy places, odors, crying babies, and out of control children can quickly turn me into a blubbering, frantic, anxious mess, and I have to leave. So. We're both disabled. Who gets to have "rights"? Me needing quietness and calmness to function, or the disruptive disabled person whose parent doesn't seem to care if they disturb all the patrons. Perhaps I need to remind business owners of the ADA so my needs will be accomodated, too, and they'll make those loud people shut up. As usual, just my opinion and my own unique way of looking at the world.
thanks rose...i appreciate your honesty.
I will take your advice & be totally blunt & if it ends our friendship..so be it.
Both of us have changed in the last 10 yrs...our lifestyles are so opposite & we see eye to eye less often. we have different lifestyles/morals/beliefs/friends...etc
Sonic, I hope I didn't come across in a way that wasn't meant - it isn't about being blunt, it's about expressing your feelings and being honest about how you're affected by the situation. Often when we express our true feelings, a compromise can be worked out. But, you do need to be prepared for the other person not being able to accept your feelings, not caring that you're in distress, or discounting your feelings. Hopefully by sharing your feelings (not in anger and not by attacking), you will have broken the roadblock to this situation, and will have enough information to make a decision that is healthy for you. Good Luck.