Finding Dory, the much anticipated follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2003 animated film Finding Nemo, is making headlines—breaking records both domestically and internationally.
But recently the film has been making a splash on the news when a five-year-old boy with autism was kicked out of the theatre after other patrons complained about the boy’s behaviour being disruptive.
According to Kiro 7 News, mum Jessica Matthews took her son Aidan to see “Finding Dory” for his first movie theatre experience. Because Aidan loves Dory, his mum though it would be perfect for his son to see a movie main character has a disability.
“When the movie started, he got a little restless, because it was dark, and so he would switch seats back and forth,” Jessica said. “And then he would roll on the floor during the movie.”
Initially, Jessica though her son was faring well, but thirty minutes into the movie, the manager came up to them to say that people had complained.
She was then given an ultimatum: either she control her son or leave.
“To hear that people were bothered by him was just like a punch in the gut,” she said. “Matthew did not think Aidan was being disruptive. “I could see some people being irritated, but it’s not more than most kids do during movies.”
But not everyone is backing her up on this sentiment.
One user on Kiro 7’s Facebook story about the incident commented: “Autism isn’t an excuse. Your child can do everything else another child can do. It’s what YOU as a parent teach them. YOU are responsible for your kids. You could have always taken him to a drive-in movie theatre or waited until it came out on DVD.”
Thankfully, many people posted positive and uplifting messages as well.
“I am sorry this happened to this child,” one user said. “I have been in theatres with loud, rude, vulgar, adults. With ones who talk on cell phones, and they don’t get kicked out.
In a Scary Mommy story, Jessica said that people need to realise that kids with autism are just that—kids. Autistic or not, they find it difficult to sit down and be quiet.
She said: “It just so happens that autistic children struggle more and need the exposure to learn what’s appropriate and to learn what other typically developing children already understand.”
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