AMC Theatres and the Autism Society have joined together to present a special series of films in an environment friendly to those affected by autism and other sensory issues.
To provide a more comfortable setting for children with autism or other special needs, movie auditoriums will have their lights brought up, the sound turned down and previews or advertisements won't be shown before the movie. Also, "Silence is Golden" rules will not be enforced, so audiences are welcome to dance, walk, shout or sing during movies.
The idea for the program began with a request from a parent with an autistic child for a special screening at an AMC theater in Columbia, Md. More than 300 children and parents attended the first screening.
Smurfs 2 will be the featured film Saturday at Tri-City 8, 5140 East Bay Drive in Largo, (727) 531-5847; and Woodlands Square 20, 3128 Tampa Road in Oldsmar, (727) 771-6643. All shows are at 10 a.m. Ticket prices vary. Dates and films are subject to change.
Learn more at amctheatres.com/SFF.
• • •
For anyone struggling with weight control or related chronic health issues, there's an age-old alternative to fad diets and over-the-counter pills that promise unrealistic results.
Healthy Eating Every Day (HEED) is a workshop that presents a realistic and sensible way of eating that is in line with U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition guidelines. The workshop helps make sense of nutrition information without having to eliminate entire food groups or sacrifice meals.
Participants can learn how to choose the proper balance of the right foods for optimal health, set realistic goals and rewards and cope with triggers for unhealthy eating. There will also be instruction in practical skills that help change and maintain eating behaviors, including tips to make better selections while shopping for food and dining out.
The 20-session program, offered by Community Aging & Retirement Services Inc., will meet every Tuesday from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. beginning this week at the Mid-County Health Center, 8751 Ulmerton Road, Largo.
There is no cost to participate, but space is limited and reservations are required.
For information, call CARES at (727) 862-9291, ext. 2018.
• • •
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly 60 million Americans experience a mental health condition every year. Mental illness affects the lives of at least one in four adults and one in 10 children across the United States regardless of race, age, religion or economic status.
NAMI is a grass roots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for those affected by mental illness.
At this month's monthly education meeting of NAMI Pinellas, an affiliate of the national alliance, facilitators will present a panel discussion on Vincent House, showcasing the members, staff and family members of NAMI's local clubhouse and how recovery through work partnerships is effective locally.
The meeting, which is open to the public, will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at Suncoast Hospice, 5771 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater.
For more information, call (727) 791-3434, email [email protected], or visit nami-pinellas.org.
Mail health items to Tampa Bay Times, 1130 Cleveland St., Suite 100-A, Clearwater, FL 33755; fax to (727) 445-4119; or email [email protected]