Spokane mom says child with autism was discriminated against at - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane mom says child with autism was discriminated against at movie theater

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A woman in Spokane is demanding answers from a local movie theater. She says she and her son with autism were kicked out of a movie theater at AMC. It was a special sensory friendly show, designed for people with autism, but Laura Bell says the theater used it as an overflow room for people trying to see the regular show.

After a few minutes in the theater, Bell says her son stood up in the front row and started waving his arms.

"A lady came in and said we were disrupting the other people at the movies and so they asked us to leave," Bell says.

Bell says she was shocked because the theater's ad says it's a safe environment where they "turn the lights up, and turn the sound down so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing." She says the whole experience has been frustrating.

"It shouldn't have been...just because they have special things that need to happen in a movie theater, we should able to go and see things the way other families do. We feel really hurt and discriminated against."

We reached out to AMC to hear their side of the story.

They sent us the following statement:

We are aware of an unfortunate miscommunication that caused guests seeking a traditional showtime to attend a Sensory Friendly Film showing, which caused frustration and anxiety for a guest and her family. During discussions with this guest outside the auditorium, the theatre team realized the error, and attempted to correct the situation on site by welcoming the guest back to the show, providing passes for a future visit and popcorn and drink vouchers, as well as offering to play the movie in a different auditorium beginning at the point where it was interrupted. At this time, the guest chose to leave.

AMC is hyper-sensitive to the needs of those on the autism spectrum and we are proud of the safe, welcoming environment we’ve provided for millions of guests through our Sensory Friendly Films program during the last nine years. We deeply regret the frustration and anxiety caused by this miscommunication on our part, and we are taking specific steps, including more visible signage and a preshow announcement about the Sensory Friendly Films environment before every Sensory Friendly Film, to ensure this does not happen again.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • One killed, neighbors lose everything in Spokane Valley condo fire

    One killed, neighbors lose everything in Spokane Valley condo fire

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 2:10 AM EDT2018-08-21 06:10:55 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- Spokane Valley firefighters say a condo fire that happened Sunday night killed one person and destroyed at least nine units at the Central Park Condominiums off of 6th Avenue. Billowing smoke and flames was all anyone could see. "It's hard and it all happened so sudden. Within two minutes, everything gets taken away from you. 

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- Spokane Valley firefighters say a condo fire that happened Sunday night killed one person and destroyed at least nine units at the Central Park Condominiums off of 6th Avenue. Billowing smoke and flames was all anyone could see. "It's hard and it all happened so sudden. Within two minutes, everything gets taken away from you. 

    >>
  • DEVELOPING: Hammer Kills Woman In N. Idaho; 3 Others Hurt

    DEVELOPING: Hammer Kills Woman In N. Idaho; 3 Others Hurt

    BAYVIEW, Idaho - A woman is dead and two others remain in serious condition after a man armed with a hammer attacked their family in their Bayview home Sunday afternoon.>>
    BAYVIEW, Idaho - A woman is dead and two others remain in serious condition after a man armed with a hammer attacked their family in their Bayview home Sunday afternoon.>>
  • Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 2:13 AM EDT2018-08-15 06:13:21 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • US Army Officer from Spokane killed in helicopter crash in Iraq

    US Army Officer from Spokane killed in helicopter crash in Iraq

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 10:16 AM EDT2018-08-21 14:16:50 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Department of Defense identified the man who died in a helicopter crash in Iraq as 34-year-old Taylor Galvin from Spokane. The DOD says Chief Warrant Officer 3 Taylor J. Galvin died as a result of injuries sustained when his helicopter crash in Sinjar, Ninevah Province, Iraq on Monday. The crash is still under investigation. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Department of Defense identified the man who died in a helicopter crash in Iraq as 34-year-old Taylor Galvin from Spokane. The DOD says Chief Warrant Officer 3 Taylor J. Galvin died as a result of injuries sustained when his helicopter crash in Sinjar, Ninevah Province, Iraq on Monday. The crash is still under investigation. 

    >>
  • EPA proposes relaxing coal plant emissions rule

    EPA proposes relaxing coal plant emissions rule

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 9:41 AM EDT2018-08-21 13:41:43 GMT

    WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has proposed a major rollback in Obama-era restrictions on climate-changing emissions from coal-fired power plants. The plan announced Tuesday gives the states more discretion in choosing how to regulate pollution from the plants. The Environmental Protection Agency says the move "promotes energy independence." 

    >>

    WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has proposed a major rollback in Obama-era restrictions on climate-changing emissions from coal-fired power plants. The plan announced Tuesday gives the states more discretion in choosing how to regulate pollution from the plants. The Environmental Protection Agency says the move "promotes energy independence." 

    >>
  • US deports former Nazi camp guard, 95, to Germany

    US deports former Nazi camp guard, 95, to Germany

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 9:02 AM EDT2018-08-21 13:02:36 GMT

    BERLIN - The White House says a 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard has been deported to Germany, 14 years after a judge ordered his expulsion.

    >>

    BERLIN - The White House says a 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard has been deported to Germany, 14 years after a judge ordered his expulsion. In a statement, the White House said the deportation of Jakiv Palij, who lived in New York City, was carried out early Tuesday.    After World War II, Palij hid his involvement in the slaughter of Jews at the Trawniki camp in Nazi-occupied Poland and gained entry to the U.S. by claiming he was a farmer.

    >>