The mother of a 5-year-old boy with autism said they were forced to leave the cinema after a woman confronted them and said her child should be ‘kept at home.’
36-year-old Vicky Page took her son Noah and other children, 10-year-old Daily and 9-year-old Isaac to the local cinema to see the new Disney film Dumbo as a special treat during the Easter holidays.
However, they was forced to leave after 30 minutes when a woman confronted them because Noah was so excited to see the baby elephant fly.
The mother from Faversham, Kent, said that the frustrating incident at the Royal Cinema led Noah to have a meltdown.
“We won’t be going back to that cinema and I don’t think we will be going at all. A group of special-needs mums have been in contact with me and suggested we should all go to the cinema with our children to raise awareness but I don’t think I want to after what happened,” she explained.
“Noah will remember and I’d be too worried. If this woman hadn’t have made a fuss or just moved seats, this wouldn’t have happened because Noah was happy – he was jumping around and trying to tell the story.
“But when we tried to move seats he started to cry so we left and went into the foyer – but he started banging his head on the floor. He hasn’t had a meltdown like that in a long time; it was heartbreaking.
“I usually stick to countryside parks so Noah is free from judgement but I thought this would be a nice trip. I struggle to try and pay for these things so this was a real treat. We prepared Noah during the week, we counted down so he knew what was happening.
“I don’t understand how someone can be like this, he is so little and was just excited because he couldn’t believe Dumbo could fly. It’s lack of compassion and ignorance.”
She added: “When he was born he spent a lot of time in a hospital in London because he had complex needs. He has come on so much and I was so proud of him when he was talking about Dumbo.
“He was very poorly when he was born, he had problems with his bronchi – one side was closed and he had issues with his windpipe. But he has fought through that and I’m so proud of him.
“He has started suffering from seizures in his sleep, around every three weeks, which we are going to keep an eye on and we are having tests done. It’s scary, there’s been times when I thought I was going to lose him.
“This makes me even more angry, we shouldn’t have to deal with things like this. I really do worry about what his future might be like in this society, you just want to protect him.”
The mother added: “He wasn’t jumping around because he is naughty, it is the autism and he sees things differently. Their senses are heightened and they can tell when something is wrong or tense. I don’t want to have to apologise for my son, I am so proud of him, but sometimes I feel so small and think I have to.”
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