April is Autism Awareness Month and close to 70 people from four area counties recently attended the third annual Sensory Friendly Family Movie Day at Celebration Cinema in Mount Pleasant; organized by the early childhood partners of the Clare-Gladwin and Gratiot-Isabella Great Start Collaboratives.
With the sound turned down and the lights turned up, Sensory Friendly Family Movie Day offered local families affected by autism and other sensory sensitivities the chance to spend a day at the theater while being free to walk around and talk as they wished. Everyone in attendance received free admission, free popcorn, and a free beverage as they watched the movie, “Big Hero 6.”
“The Sensory Friendly Family Movie Day was a big success,” said Julie White, Autism Spectrum Disorder Consultant at Clare-Gladwin RESD. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for families to relax, be themselves, and just have fun together.”
Officers from the Michigan State Police, Mount Pleasant Police Department, and the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department greeted families with a sticker and a smile as they arrived at the theater. Additionally, players on the Beaverton Rural Schools Varsity Football Team also volunteered to get refreshments ready for movie attendants and showed families to their seats.