Autism friendly screening

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Hebden Bridge Picture House will hold an autism friendly showing of Dumbo later this month.

The screening, on Monday April 22, 2pm, is part of a nationwide programme of 900 Autism Friendly Screenings.

Rebekah Fozard, Manager for the not for profit Hebden Bridge Picture House said they hope local residents will join in.

“We’ve been running occasional relaxed/autism friendly screenings at Hebden Bridge Picture House since Summer 2017.

“We have found that with word of mouth, and an increased audience understanding that everyone who would benefit from the adjusted screening environment is welcome (you don’t need to be on the autistic spectrum to attend), support for these screenings has steadily increased.

“We now run one screening of a family orientated film, in the matinee (early afternoon) slot every school holidays, and will continue to do so, whilst our customers find it beneficial.”

With support from autism support provider Dimensions, the screening will provide a further boost to the UK’s growing range of cinema programming for people with autism.

Stacey, who along with her husband and son Jake have been going to autism friendly screenings for the last two years, said: “He loves going to autism friendly showing because he absolutely loves movies.

“It feels really relaxing to go to an autism friendly showing because I don’t have to worry

“I can trust that most things will be comfortable and there’s no judgment and glances.”

She added: “For him, he knows that he can be himself in that environment, he can go and wear his ear defenders or have a special toy with him, whatever he wants to take with him to make him more comfortable he can do that and no one’s going to tell him off, no one’s going to judge him, none of the other kids are going to look at him and laugh. He can just be himself on that particular day.”

Reduced sound levels, increased lighting and advert-free content allow this audience group, their families and carers to be comfortable and feel fully included in the unique experience of a trip to the cinema.

Over the last few years and following the success of last year’s campaign, an increasing number of UK cinema operators have started programming regular autism friendly screenings for their local communities.