Mum and dad have 5 children age 9,7,3 and 1 and live in Irlam, Salford. Their 3 year old son “A” has Autism and currently attends a mainstream Primary School.
Mum and dad are regular theatre goers and have always enjoyed coming to the theatre, they have previously watched War Horse, Fame and a ballet all accessed through the Our Lowry scheme. Mum, dad and 3 of the children have attended the theatre together. Mum explained that she was not confident enough to bring A with them as a family due to previous experiences in the cinema and having to leave half way through.
Mum said that bringing her whole family to experience the theatre together has been “invaluable and created amazing memories for them all”. A is still singing songs from We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (the first performance that they attended in August 2019). All 6 members of their family came to see We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Pulse and The Gruffalo’s Child.
Prior to coming to the first performance Mum and Dad shared the visual story that we had sent them along with watching videos on You Tube to help A understand what it would be like at the theatre. A coped really well during the performances and the whole family were able to stay for the duration of each.
Mum explained that having the visual art activity available beforehand enabled A to gain confidence in the space rather than going straight into the theatre. A needed to go and hide at one point but the space in the Quays Bar allowed for that and “no one tried to stop him which was great”
After attending the first two performances the family felt confident enough to come to see a performance of Hansel and Gretel that was being offered through the Our Lowry scheme. Mum said that she felt much more confident coming and that she felt that her change in mindset had an impact on A. Mum explained that when A attended the second performance she could see he was much more confident in the space and was excited to be coming. Every experience he has had since joining the scheme has been positive which has meant that they are able to come to the theatre together again as a family.
Mum said that taking part in the scheme has meant she will now “give it a try rather than ruling it out immediately with fear of letting down her other children”