Not many people realise this, but families with special needs are very limited as to where they can go and what they can do.
Many of these families feel isolated from the rest of the community because when they do go out, they’re not catered for and people tend to judge them.
This is one reason why Chanelle Avison — mother of 11-year-old autistic twins — decided to set up Sensory Movie Day four years ago.
Sensory Movie Day was created for families with special needs, to allow the children and parents to enjoy a movie in a safe, positive and non-judgemental environment.
“People don’t realise how important it is to be able to go out as a family, they often take that for granted,” Ms Avison said.
“For us (families with special needs) a lot of pre-planning has to go into being able to go out.”
At a Sensory Movie Day, parents can relax knowing their children will be safe.
“In the movie theatre, the doors are monitored, the lights are kept on and the sound is kept to a minimum to keep everyone happy,” she said.
“I’ve just tried to make things easy, we cater for all special needs.”
“It’s really good to see the friendships made on the day.”
Ms Avison also said that some children can’t quite cope with all the people and the noise and have to leave, in which case a full refund will be made.
Sensory Movie Days screen in various locations across Queensland and New South Wales including Morayfield, Browns Plains, Capalaba and Ipswich.
The next screening will be Tinkerbell: Legend of the Neverbeast held on Sunday, 24 May at Ipswich, Birch Carroll and Coyle at 11am. Tickets are just $6 each. For more information on this event email firstname.lastname@example.org.