A night at the movies turns stressful for local mother - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

A night at the movies turns stressful for local mother

Amarillo, TX - When you head to the moves, you'd expect to have an enjoyable time, but Nora Rodriguez says for her 6-year-old daughter Lilith, that wasn't the case.

"I was very emotional that night, I cried through the whole movie, I couldn't watch it," said Rodriguez. 

Rodriguez and her daughters arrived early to get their seats at United Artist on Saturday to watch Inside Out. 

"This lady came in right before the movie started and immediately asked her to move. I quickly said that she had special needs," said Rodriguez. 

She adds that the woman continues to ask the daughter to move. 

"I told her I'm not going to move my daughter. We came here early just to get her settled," said Rodriguez. 

Rodriguez claims her daughter was not being disruptive, but the woman complaining left to grab a security guard. Minutes later, Rodriguez says the guard asked the child to move.

Although Rodriguez and her daughters finished the movie, she says she wasn't able to enjoy it because she felt her daughter was mistreated.

"I was so distraught. I have never experienced that ever, anywhere. Just because you can't see the physical disability in my daughter doesn't make it right," said Rodriguez. 

At 10 months, 6-year-old Lilith had a skull fracture and suffered Shaken Baby Syndrome. Her mother says she has the mentality of a 3-year-old. Some might think a public setting is not place for children like Lilith, but doctors disagree.

"Children learn by example and they learn what is taught to them. So you have to put children in different environments, whether they're special needs or not. So that they can learn sometimes the good and the bad behavior," said Doctor in education counseling, Lynn Jennings. 

After contacting the movie theater, Rodriguez says the manager apologized for the incident. Although she received an apology, Rodriguez says she would like to see a policy in place at United Artist that would make special needs children feel more comfortable.

Our calls and emails to United Artist about the incident were not returned on Wednesday.

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