The Autism Society Philippines UP CAMP Manila and Pasay chapters partnered with the SM Cares and SM Program on Disability Affairs, for a Lights Up, Sounds Down Screening of “Pudsey, the Dog” at the SM City Manila last 28 February 2015, Saturday at 9:00 am. Almost 300 participants included families of children with autism and other disabilities like Down Syndrome, ADHD, orthopedic disabilities, among others.
Sensory friendly movies are held in SM Malls all over the country for children with autism (CWAs) to interact with and get exposed to the sights and sounds of a bustling society. CWAs are given a movie experience that is attuned to their sensitivities. Lights are turned up, and sounds are turned down and advertisements are omitted. Kids with special needs can go around if they wish and can do anything they are comfortable with. And their families will not be afraid of getting negative reactions from other viewers of the movie.
Before the movie started, ASP Chairman Emeritus Ms. Dang Koe and SM City Manila Mall Officer Mr. Manuel Escucha gave their welcoming remarks to the audience. Ms. Evelyn Go, ASP Treasurer and Mr. Rizalio Sanchez from NCDA also joined the festivities.
Participants eagerly shared their experiences:
“Masaya po kami sa ginawa nyong activity. For the first time, nakanuod ng sine ang dalawa naming PWD members. Kaya salamat po sa pag invite sa amin. In behalf of my coordinator from St. John Don Bosco, thank you very much! “
“My son and I enjoyed the movie. He even clapped his hands in dancing scene of Pudsey. It was his 1st time to enter the movie house. I thought it would scare him. On the contrary, he enjoyed it. Thanks to ASP!”
“The free movie is a great opportunity for the exposure of our kids. I would never have ventured taking my kid to a movie during regular screening since I am uncertain about his reactions. Kudos to SM for sponsoring such events and the ASP for working it out!”
“Maraming salamat sa pagkakataon na nakapanuod kami ng libre. Hindi ko na po matandaan ang huli naming panuod dahil sa mahal ng sine. Nag enjoy po ang aking 2 anak at nakapag bonding pa kami, kaya muli maraming salamat po!”
“My son did enjoy the movie. If I were to rate the event, from 1-10 where 10 is the highest, I’ll give it an 8. Kasi yung ilaw dapat binuksan na before mag start. Nag freak out kasi yung baby ko nung pumasok kami ng sobrang dilim pa. Tapos yung aircon, mahina, pero over all ok naman.”
“Thanks so much! Looking forward to another event wherein children with autism can enjoy anything without thinking about others negative reactions.”
“I’m happy that we have this kind of event. Nakakatuwa kasi mas na eenjoy po nila pamamasyal sa labas. Sana may free service for them para mas madali makarating sa bawat event. Maraming salamat po!”
“Tamang tama lang po yung lights and sounds. Maraming salamat po. Sana mas umunlad pa ang ASP. Goodluck po sa lahat ng mga organizers. Ok daw po yung movie sabi ng anak ko. Gusto nya magkaroon ng dog gaya ni Pudsey.”
“Also I saw Ms. Dang Koe going around making everybody feel comfortable. Something new to me.“
“Thank you for the experience. We had a nice time. My son was ok while inside the cinema. So I’m planning to try him to watch a regular movie show that’s appropriate for him next time. Hope we can join again in your next activities for special children. I’m glad there is an organization like yours willing to help parents and kids with special needs. More power and God bless!”
“The movie is very much appreciated by PWD kids. They enjoy the relax, light and family oriented movie. I just hope that you do this more often. Thanks!”
“Satisfied po lalo na po anak kong si Jeric. First time po kasi niya at sana daw po maulit pa at the same time enjoy din kaming mga parents. Maraming salamat po and God bless to all of you!”
“Thank you for the invite today! Hope to receive more updates for ASP’s activities this summer.”
“My son Noah enjoyed his time at the cinema. He had previous experience seeing a theatre play a few months ago, which he enjoyed immensely. I suppose my son can relate that similar experience to seeing a film for the first time at the cinema. He was excited at first when we came in and was even jumping up and down with joy when we sat at the upper most seats. He settled in a few minutes afterwards and he watched the first 30-40 minutes of the movie. That’s about one of the longest time he paid attention to a film. In behalf of my family, we would like to thank Autism Society Philippines and SM company for giving my son a fantastic opportunity to watch a film minus the worries, the pressure of “behaving according to norm”. It gave him a dry run – a cushioned practice – so he’ll know how to at least settle when he will be watching a film in the future at a local cinema. Otherwise he was a well-behaved boy all throughout the experience.”
Autism Society Philippines thanks SM City Manila Management, SM Cares and SM Program for Disability Affairs for supporting this activity. Thanks for being our angels and contributing to an Autism-OK Philippines!
Jennette F. Rodriguez, a mother to 3 kids, including an boy with autism, is the Secretary of ASP UP CAMP Manila Chapter and a Parent-Volunteer at the Padre Gomez SPED Center. A graduate of BS Commerce major in Economics at University of Santo Tomas, she has assisted in organizing several events of the chapter and has given talks on Orientation on Autism and ASP to different schools and colleges, and PWD Ministries in the Vicariate of Loreto.