JANUARY is commemorated worldwide as "Autism Month" and line with this, the women's association of the Philippine Military Academy Bantay Laya Class, Play and Say Therapy Center and the Autism Society of the Philippines-Baguio Chapter, initiated a sensory friendly showing of the movie, "Alvin and the Chipmunks - The Squeakquel," at SM City Baguio Cinema 4, 2 pm on January 30.

Justine Palau of Play and Say Therapy Center stressed that they scheduled this sensory friendly movie in time for the Autism Month, wherein worldwide communities recognize the talents and contributions of individuals with autism. Also during this month the most aggressive awareness and news about individuals with autism are being held.

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Palau explained that what is special with this film showing is that the lights and the sounds of the movie are adjusted so children with autism and with special needs will be comfortable while watching the movie.

"Sensitive kasi sila sa loud sounds and dark atmosphere," she added.

As a special treat, the SM management offers the special screening tickets to special children at 20% discount or P90. For the regular patrons who will be accompanying the children, tickets will be sold at the regular price of P110. Tickets are available at the Play and Say Therapy Clinic at 11 Marcos Highway, Jet Bookstore at Session Road and at other schools that accept children with special needs.

Lua Limbo, also of Play and Say, stressed that one of the major purposes of the said special film showing is to promote awareness. We want the kids, individuals with autism and other persons with disability to be an integral part of the community.

"Ung mga things na ginagawa natin, gusto naming ma-experience din nila, gusto din namin na malaman ng ibang tao na tayo iyong dapat umintindi sa kanila," she explained.

"There is a lot of discrimination that is happening, for example in a theater minsan pinalalabas sila, so with this special film showing, we can also give the kids with special needs especially the autistic the opportunity to watch a movie like normal people do," Palau added.

According to Limbo, this is the second sensory sensitive film showing that they handled, the first was the movie "Ice Age 3" which was also shown in SM, July of 2009. (Lito Dar)