What is Autism?

When people refer to “Autism” today, they are usually talking about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), which is a brain-based disorder characterized by social-communication challenges and restricted repetitive behaviors, activities, and interests. The Centers for Disease Control describes ASDs as: “a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Individuals with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less” (http://autismsciencefoundation.org/what-is-autism/).


Partnerships Make a Difference  

In 2007, AMC Theatres (AMC) and the Autism Society teamed up to offer the “Sensory Friendly Films” program as a special opportunity for individuals living with autism to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment on a monthly basis. In order to provide a more accepting and comfortable setting for individuals on the autism spectrum, the movie auditorium keeps their lights turned slightly up (dim lights will remain on) and the sound turned slightly down. Because some have strict, special dietary needs, families are permitted to bring their own gluten-free, casein-free snacks from home.

Additionally, audience members are welcome to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing – in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden” policy will not be enforced unless the safety of the audience is in question. Being able to relax and enjoy quality family time without worrying if someone will complain or be disturbed by noise of movement is a wonderful experience. Many others, not on the autism spectrum, also enjoy “Sensory Friendly Films” – it’s a great opportunity for families to meet, siblings of children with autism to get to know other kids, and anyone to enjoy a movie in a climate of acceptance and understanding (https://www.autism-society.org).

are offered four times (4) a month at many locations nationwide, https://www.amctheatres.com/programs/sensory-friendly-films

The Role of Diet in the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders

The role of diet in the treatment of ASD is gaining a great deal of attention in the autism community (http://www.sheknows.com/). However, children with autism spectrum disorders often have symptoms that lead to picky eating or difficulty eating certain foods.

Here are some websites that provide simple, fun recipes to please picky eaters:

Autism and Gluten-Free Diets | MyRecipes http://www.myrecipes.com/healthy-diet/austism-gluten-free-diet

Autism Recipes / Aspergers Recipes - Cooking with Autism http://www.cookingwithautism.com/the-recipes/

Recipes Database, Talk about Curing Autism http://www.tacanow.org/family-resources/recipes-database/

Healthy Recipes for Picky Eaters with Autism - SheKnows http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/955831/healthy-recipes-for-picky-eaters-with-autism

Recipes | Autism Speaks https://www.autismspeaks.org/wordpress-tags/recipes