TAMPA, Fla. — Studio Movie Grill offers Special Needs Screenings that are sensory friendly for families raising children with special needs.
"Special Needs Screenings are shown with the lights up and the volume lowered and children are free to move around, talk, or even dance in the aisles during the movie," their website reads.
The sensory-friendly screenings are free for children with special needs and their siblings, while adult tickets are available at before-noon price. The showings are at 11 a.m. at most Studio Movie Grill locations.
You can find showing dates and a location near you by clicking here.
Children living with special needs can experience sensory processing issues. According to Understood, children often experience a mixture of hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity.
Hypersensitivity, or oversensitivity, leads children to avoid sensory stimulation because it's too overwhelming.
"Kids who are sensory avoiding may react to a wide range of triggers," Understood says on their website. "These can include loud sounds, uncomfortable clothing, crowded spaces, or certain food smells or textures, among others. Whatever the trigger, the reaction can sometimes be extreme."
Seeking a quiet space, getting startled by sudden noises, being bothered by bright lights and avoiding touching are all signs of hypersensitivity, according to Understood.
While hyposensitivity, or undersensitivity, leads them to look for more stimulation.
"Kids who are undersensitive to sensory input have the opposite situation. They often have a need for movement. And they may seek out input like spicy or sour tastes and physical contact and pressure," Understood says on their website.
Signs of this include constantly touching things, fidgeting, getting distracted often and invading other people's personal space, according to Understood.
For more information on sensory processing issues and for tips on helping children cope, click here.