Santa Clarita Valley parents are hosting a pair of networking events this weekend to create a supportive environment for local families with special needs children.
The events, organized by the Santa Clarita Valley Council Parent Teacher Association, are held throughout the year and meant to offer a chance for parents to network and for children who are especially sensitive to light, sound and their surrounding environs to enjoy a more “typical” experience for them.
The events include a movie at Edwards Theatres in Canyon Country on Saturday at 10 a.m., and then in partnership with Color Me Mine, a special needs painting event is taking place Sunday from 10-11 a.m.
“All of the children have issues so it’s a really good environment for the parents and the kids to have a really typical experience,” said one of the organizers, Christy Miranda Ruiz, who also expressed understanding for these challenges.
Ruiz has two children who are on the autism spectrum, and with her son who is higher-functioning, challenges exist in events like going to the movie.
“We have to let him know that it’s not appropriate to speak during the movie — ‘even though you get excited,’” she said explaining the talk she has with her son.
“If we could grab a little bit of that, it’s like, ‘Yay, we went to the movies,’” she added, discussing why the events are such a welcome experience for parents in with special needs children.
“The ‘Golden Rule of Quiet’ does not apply” for the showing of 10 a.m. viewing of “Peter Rabbit” in the Canyon Country theater, according to the flier advertising the event.
“It’s great, there’s no judgment,” Ruiz said, “(parents) don’t have to worry about their children being loud.”
Both the theater and the painting studio are making special accommodations for the show, such as special lighting, to make the experience easier for the children.
“We’re there to accommodate your child,” Ruiz said, “and that (parents) know that coming to these places, (the children) are going to have a good time.”
For those who are interested in more information about the event, they can contact ChristineRuiz013@yahoo.com.