Bakersfield organization improves the way young people with Autism watch movies

MAPSS teams up with Bakersfield theater


Young people living with autism are getting the chance to see what its really like enjoying a day at the movies.

Susan Odom is taking her grandson, Logan to experience his first ever movie.

"This is so exciting," she said.

It's a moment they both have been waiting for since learning about the autism movie event hosted by regency theaters and the Multi-Level Application Positive Support Services organization.

"He saw all the candy and the popcorn so, you know we'll see how he does as far as the movie and see if he can sit through the whole thing.  I’m not sure, but if he only last thirty minutes that's okay," said Odom.

MAPSS is a private agency working with families around Kern County providing interventions and applications at home, community and school settings.

The organization is not only raising funds for autism programs, it's also raising awareness around the community.

"We want the autism community to know that they do have options and they do have resources, there are behavioral therapies, there are non-for-profit organizations that can support them.  So, we want to make sure they know about these things to educate themselves in what they can do for their children," said Isabella Borreli with MAPSS.

The group is helping young people enjoy a visit to the movies by reducing the theater's sound and changing the lighting.

“It can be really difficult because sometimes the noise level can be too high. Sometimes too many people being in the theater is difficult for him and it's not widely accepted should he have a little melt down, people think he's not a good child instead of a child with disability," said Bakersfield grandmother, Susan Graham.

Leaders with the event say introducing children to this way of watching a movie can help built comfort and prepare for future visits.

"Usually families will be hesitant to try and stand at least for the families that I've talk to about not being able to take their child out to the theater and staying very long that rule applies here too that you can go into the aisles, you can have fun, you can dance if you like to," said Gerald Lavarias, clinical director for MAPSS.

For more information on MAPSS click here.

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