I apologize to those readers who have read this post from six months ago.  However, as I spend my weekends with Marie, this major development never ceases to thrill and amaze me, and it bears repeating…

Yesterday my daughter, Marie, and I went to the movies.  The name of the movie isn’t important, (except to say it was  a Pixar film.)  The reason it was so great was because, for the first time since we adopted her nine years ago, I finally got to sit and relax and enjoy the movies!

Marie is profoundly deaf and communicates in American Sign Language.  The movies we tend to see are movies such as Shrek, Finding Nemo, Ice Age, Madagascar and so forth. The negative thing about these wonderful movies is that there is no way Marie can lip read what the characters are saying.  “I love you so much” can look like “Go jump in a dump.”  In order for her to enjoy the movies, we have long sat in the last row, underneath the single emergency light in the far left corner, and I have “signed” what the characters are saying.  Although my signing isn’t fluent, she laughs in all of the appropriate places, so I am happy.  (A happy child makes for a happy parent.)  The bad part of all of this is that I don’t get to really enjoy the movie.  I am so busy signing that I don’t get to see what is happening on screen. PLUS, (major disappointment…sob…sob….) I don’t ever get a break to eat any of the popcorn Marie happily munches away on.

Then came rear window captioning.  It sounds like a great idea. It is basically a screen of plexiglass that sits in the cup holder and it has to be positioned JUST RIGHT in order to reflect back the words that are coming off the projector at the far end of the auditorium.  The problem with Marie is that she also has ADHD.  She fiddles with it and fiddles with it until it is covered in popcorn butter and it is impossible to read the words. Plus, it must be damn annoying to the movie patrons sitting anywhere near us.

Well, yesterday the heavens opened up and dropped down a device only God could have made to relieve me of my signing duties…a small device that also sits in the cup holder but has closed captions.  Marie positioned it perfectly to fit her view of the screen the same as she watches closed captioning on television.  To her it was no miracle.  She’s used to closed captioning, and it probably didn’t mean all that much, because she gets to enjoy the movie either way.  But for me, it WAS a miracle. For the first time in NINE YEARS I finally got to enjoy that delicious (?) movie popcorn and I could watch the movie and actually enjoy it.  It was the BEST MOVIE EVER!!!!!





I would love to come and speak for your group or at your conference.  I would do it for free, but would need the price of travel. For functions in the North East, that would be only gas money.

Link to my book

The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane

Link to the Readers Digest review of my book:


Comments on: "It Was The Best Movie EVER, and It Had Nothing to Do with the Title…" (78)

  1. I’m so happy for you!!! I hope you got to eat some buttery popcorn too???

  2. How wonderful, for you and your daughter. The whole experience for both of you must have been amazing.

  3. Life and Other Turbulence said:

    Isn’t technology grand? It never ceases to amaze me how quickly it advances. Loving your blog…you’re an inspiration.

  4. So happy for both of you, not to mention the rest of the hearing-impaired. Why didn’t they think of this years ago? Closed caption on TV is not exactly new.

  5. strawberryquicksand said:

    Technology never ceases to amaze me. I’m sure it will be our (the human race) downfall one of these days. Was the device provided by the cinema or did you have to purchase it? It’s a fantastic idea, that’s for sure!

  6. congratulations …to all! Happy child and parents!

  7. I have never heard of that…but it took them long enough! I am glad you can finally enjoy movies (and popcorn!)

  8. Wonderful! Agreed that this is a treat for you. Love your blog and stories as they are so inspirational. 🙂

  9. How brilliant for you – so happy that technology is gradually adding to Marie’s quality of life – and yours!
    Yesterday I went to watch a matinee production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bristol Old Vic theatre, here in the west of England. It was a fantastic show, and even more wonderful as it was one of their signed performances.
    The signer was a beautiful, graceful and enthusiastic lady who interpreted Shakespeare’s words in the most magical and lyrical way. A large contingent of deaf people sat spellbound in the audience, picking up every nuance of the story. One young girl was so enthralled, that during the few sad, quiet speeches, she could be heard spontaneously vocalising her emotional responses to the story with groans and sympathetic sighs. Rather than distracting others, she unwittingly enhanced our appreciation, as did the signer herself.
    The signer drew huge applause at the end – from deaf and hearing alike – and the actors insisted she join their curtain call!
    Technology is wonderful, but delivered that well, sign language is an incredible art form in its own right.
    I hope Marie has the opportunity to experience such productions as she grows older.

    • That is such a beautiful story, thanks for sharing. Good sign language interpreters are actors themselves. I have often talked with Maria on the phone via an interpreter and I can gauge her moods depending upon how the interpreter talks. If she talks slow and sad, I can envision Marie, shoulders slumped, looking grim. If the interpreter talks happy and excited, I know that Marie’s eyes are glinting excitement and she’s talking fast and with great animation. Interpreters are AWESOME!!!!!

  10. I bet that made things a whole bunch more enjoyable.
    So happy for you both😊

  11. A happy example of Technology winning the day 🙂 I’m so happy for you and your daughter.

  12. Here in the UK most cinemas do subtitled or audio described performances for blind or deaf people. I have always thought it must be difficult to have to timetable your life around when a subtitled performance might be on, so the cup holder thing sounds like a brilliant idea! I wonder if it’s available here?

  13. My step sister is deaf and for years it was impossible for her to go to the movies. She’s in her 50’s now. It’s amazing how far we’ve come for the haring disabled. I swear, those no difference between her and us now. I love to see her dance to music she can’t hear and watch movies now. She used to compete in the pageants too… Miss Deaf America. That’s when signing became so well known and wider spread. My stepmother never wanted her to rely on signing because she had to live in a world where most nobody knew how to sign. She learned to read lips very well. I guess she didn’t learn to sign until she was in her 20’s.

    Good post and thanks so much for sharing! That’s so cool that you’ll speak to groups for traveling expenses (although, I sincerely hope people will compensate for your knowledge and time). You are a very good woman and have so much to share. Maybe I should know this but I can’t remember, do you have experience in dealing with autism?

    I’ve also been meaning to ask you if you’ve heard of “Indigo Children”. I’m researching Indigo kids now because I think it’s what we may be dealing with with my 4 year old niece.

    • I have a son with autism/Aperger’s, and raising him has been quite a “trip”.
      I have heard of Indigo children, and I believe to some extent my sons Steven and Angel possess unusual gifts, maybe not supernatural, but definitely difficult to explain under “normal” circumstances. That’s what makes our life to interesting!

      • I’m just starting to do research on Indigo children because my niece (4 years old) seems to have all the traits. I knew she was different and thought it had something to do with the Autism spectrum. She just didn’t fit Autism. She really does seem like she’s been born before and I’ve always said that. From the time she began to talk, she’d express things that there’s no WAY she could have known. She freaks me out, to be honest… not in a bad way but in a fascinated way.

        I also take care of a little Autistic boy who’s mother won’t work with him because she’s ashamed. For real. I could wring her neck because he’s SUCH a beautiful little boy and SO much more interesting than most kids, IMO. It would seem to me that having a child like him would be more of a blessing. But I can’t judge, or should I say – I’m TRYING not to judge because I haven’t walked in her shoes.

        I need to go through you blogs to see what you say about raising your Autistic/Asperger son. Thanks for being so open about all of this. You have so much love and knowledge. It’s a pleasure keeping up with you!

      • I am not so sure about past lives, but I know that my brother, who was deaf, blind, schizophrenic and developmentally delayed, “saw” my mom reaching out to him at his time of death, and he said her name clearly, (even though he had never been able to speak clearly his entire life.) I know for a fact there if something/Someone much more powerful than us awaiting us on the “other side”.

      • I’ve been fortunate enough to be there a couple of times (both grandmothers) at the minute of death also. I say fortunate because, like your brother, they “saw” angels and then their mothers reach to them. It gave me SO much hope and made me know there was life after death. Both grandmothers were comatose and woke up to speak clearly, minutes before death. JUST like your brother did. I’m glad you shared that with me about your brother. It’s a beautiful story and I’m sure it gives you much hope and peace, as well 🙂

      • I’m SO glad you reconsidered posting about it! Definitely people can learn from your experience. I can’t wait to read what you’re going to write about! It’s a fascinating subject, for real 🙂

  14. Small things mean the most, I’m thankful for this device and your wonderful movie date. yay!

  15. Ahh…CaptiView! My husband and I love those devices, especially since we can now attend any movie, at any time. 🙂 We were never fans of Rear-Window Captioning, but we were lucky enough to have a local theater that would show open captions on certain movies. (This is the best option, in my opinion, but it’s no longer available here unfortunately.) Those movies were only shown a couple days per month, and it was only for certain movies, but it was so nice to have the captions right on the screen.

    When I was growing up, I enjoyed cartoons but didn’t like them as much as other kids. Like you said, you can’t lipread a cartoon character! I always preferred TV shows with real people, whose faces I could see. Although I did like Pink Panther…he never really talked so it was all visual. 🙂

    Here’s to technology!!

  16. Oh how wonderful! So happy that you’ve got technology that makes everything better for you both! 🙂

  17. Aravind Deepak said:

    All I’ve got to say is that you are an AMAZING parent! May all the greatness come your way.
    My best wishes to your daughter.

  18. I am so glad you were able to really enjoy a movie with your daughter. I know you would do anything for her just like I would for mine. The sacrifices we make for our kids are lost on those who don’t have kids themselves. So happy you could enjoy the popcorn for a change. Please keep writing, I love your blog.

  19. evidencebasedtitsandteeth said:

    So many things we take for granted – it never occurred to me (even though I have learnt BSL) that animated films are impossible to lip read. Of course they are! It warms the cockles of my heart that there are dedicated Mums such as yourself that go that extra mile to bring a little joy to your children’s lives by signing all through the film! That’s hardcore in my eyes!

  20. Rear window captioning is AWESOME. I loved, loved, loved having it at the Omni Theatre at the Museum of Science, Boston, when I worked there. I loved being able to offer it to families and guests so they could enjoy the amazing programming. I am so excited to read this entry and see that your daughter (and you!) were able to have so much fun at the movies! The AMC chain also does Sensory Friendly Films once a month where the sound is turned down and the lights left up a little so kiddos who have a hard time sitting through a traditional movie can rock out in any way they may need to while enjoying a recent/new release. It’s usually a weekend morning showing.

  21. Isn’t it amazing the things that they come up with to help improve our lives? That’s so cool that you got to enjoy the movie!

  22. What an amzing thing for you and your daughter! So glad you got to watch the whole movie!

  23. I’m so glad you liked some of my poetry – it brings me to your blog again and again. 🙂 Love your inspirational writing!

  24. you’re a special mom! and yes, thank God for technology!

  25. Dear 5kids,
    I’m just in awe of your incredible reserves of patience, acceptance and love for your children. Makes me want to be a better parent.
    Thanks for inspring me today!

  26. a lovely story. medical and technical advances like this give me faith that the world is getting to be a better place. x

    • yes, technology is awesome!
      My son, who is blind, uses a step by stop GPS by Apple so he doesn’t get lost while traveling in strange cities. (He does not have a guide dog because he feels he is unable to care for a dog properly. He calls his little travel device his “Seeing Eye GPS.”

  27. That’s awesome and I’m sorry that you had to do all that extra work for so long. Your post reminded me of a funny story. One day, I was flipping through channels on TV when I came across a Mexican soap opera that I used to watch when I was a tween. I called my step daughter in to share stories of my childhood with her. She was watching the actors but could not understand what they were saying so she began to ask me questions. Twenty minutes later of questions and translating dialogue she asked me to put the show on series record so we can watch it everyday. Which of course means I’m translating the show for her. Needless to say I was trying to find out if the show had closed captions in English, which it didn’t so we tried to do the whole mom translates everything and pauses the show to explain. A show that is an hour long with commercials turned into two hours. We have yet to watch another episode. We were both kind of tired after the few times we did try to watch them.

    • That is so funny. At least you could stop it and tell her. With the movies, I used to have to keep going. I had a problem both watching the movie and signing at the same time, and I am sure I left gaps in the story. Marie never seemed to mind, though.

  28. Haven’t read all the comments so I don’t know if anyone’s said this yet, but in some areas they actually have closed captioned glasses for movie theatres. My brother is deaf and he LOVES them. They really are great (I love having CC too because I’ve grown up with them and find that even as a hearing person I miss a lot without them). Hope they come to a theatre near you! 🙂

    • That sounds so AWESOME!!!! Technology is wonderful.
      I, too, loved closed captioning on television. Often people mumble on tv and I can clearly read what they said. Also, have you ever used it for music videos? So THAT’s what the words are to that song….

  29. This my first time reading this…so reblog YAY!!! I am very happy that you had the opportunity to enjoy that moment with your daughter. Little things are the best, because they give the biggest reward. Thank you for re-sharing this story.

  30. This is all very interesting, but I am a little confused. Closed captioning is ‘subtitles for hard of hearing’ is it.. like what I put on television sometimes? So how does this work in the cinema on an individual basis and what is the difference between the two devices you mention? We are in different countries (I’m UK) so I am sure just a little more description and ‘i’ll get it’ sorry for being dippy

    • This new closed captioning system is similar to the ones on television, but they show up on a little 5 inch by 2 inch screen which is suspended in front of thew viewer on a movable arm. My daughter positions it at the bottom of her view of the screen so she can use it like the closed captioning on television. It is very discreet and perfect for her!

      • Thank you.. how clever.. so how does the first device differ? The one covered in butter popcorn!

      • The older device was mirror like and reflected the captioned words that were backwards from the projector in the back of the room. The device was large and see through, and, besides the butter fingers all over it, it could be very annoying to anyone sitting around it. The new device is very small and inconspicuous.

      • I see… so you move the first one slightly and ‘hey presto’ end of following film. Thank you for filling in the gaps.. I guess it will come to th UK in 10 years! I hope you enjoy many films to come..

  31. I love how you say you are still sane….good to know, because I am frequently doing a “sanity check” after all the school meetings, and everything my crazy boys come up with to keep me busy. I am glad to know that down the road I may still have my sanity in tact!

  32. so happy for you both!

  33. How cool for you both! My best friend from elementary is blind. We are now nearing 50 and she lives out of state. Every time she comes in to visit family, I am amazed at how technology has liberated her. When we first met, she was using a huge and heavy Brailler and a “textbook” was several simply huge volumes. Now, she carries a device the size of a large calculator with a dynamic display that lets her read and write large amounts of information and retrieve them at will. I am sure that the coming years will bring many more miraculous innovations into ya’ll’s lives.

  34. So glad for you and your daughter

  35. Your blog is great! Thanks for checking out mine! I will look into your book. Please also enjoy my book. Thanks again and hang in there!

  36. That ha to have been amazing for you! I think people take very say things like going to the movies for granted…I had certainly never thought about it before! So glad you got some yummy popcorn! 🙂

  37. You sound like an amazing person, thank you for sharing to remind us all about the little things we take for granted. Enjoy the popcorn 🙂

  38. I have nominated you for a very inspiring blogger award. for details.

    • I really appreciate the nomination. However, I have difficulty getting one little post out each week and I cannot possibly fulfill the writing requirements of the award. Thanks to much for the thought, though!

  39. YEAH!!! I have the goofiest grin on my face right now thinking about your ability to eat buttery POPCORN! I can’t believe this is just now technology available to you – that part makes me sad.

  40. I loved reading this. It made me acutely aware of the little things that I take for granted and the need to be thankful. I celebrate with you! 🙂

  41. I know! Isn’t it great to be able to go see a movie with your child! My autistic son is so much fun to watch in the theatre when he is really into the movie! thx for posting.

  42. 🙂 loved this write, my son, has autism, a very rare 1q21.1 microdeletion syndrome and microcephaly, and a trip to the pictures with him and my daughter was always a challenge due to his special needs, i’m so glad they finally provided something to allow you to enjoy the film, as for me i don’t mind at all what i have to do, but when he is rolling from one side of the theater to the next in front of the screen, i leave him he is doing no harm and if you try to stop him all hell breaks loose, other cinema goers think he is just an unruly child, but it’s just not the case, maybe i’ll get to watch a film fully one day too 🙂 lol

    • It is always a challenge to take our kiddos out, and it is always nice when people understand. I have such empathy for your family, and wish you the best.

  43. Thanks for this encuraging post; neat idea!
    Thayers for

  44. I can so relate- 4th child is on spectrum , could not tolerate movie theaters until about 7 when 5th child came along. 5 th child also on
    spectrum and has Down syndrome. It wasn’t til she was 9 that I could bring her in and relax
    enough to not worry if there would be loud noises from any other kids. I’m finally able to enjoy movies with her, she is now 10! makes you appreciate the small victories.

  45. You and your family sounds so sweet! Yum, popcorn!

  46. I just nominated you for the “Very inspirational Blogger Award” See it here: Enjoy! Your blog is well worth it!

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