Woman who bullied girl with autism at movies had options: Group

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A video showing a woman acting out, claiming a child with autism disrupted a showing of 'Dumbo' at the Webster Cinemark, is getting the attention of local autism advocacy groups.

The woman was caught on camera, saying "You ruined the movie" to the child's mother, before walking out of the theater.

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"The lady could've handled it much nicer and been more polite and friendly, and taken an opportunity to say, 'How can I help?'" said Darla Farmer, the founder of local autism advocacy group, Hope For Three.

Farmer hopes this situation can be used as a learning experience. She believes this is a situation where the woman had a lack of understanding.

"She could've easily just said, 'Ma'am, could you get your child to be a little quieter, she's disrupting the movie,' rather than lash out and be hot-headed and angry, and from a mom's perspective, she could've taken the opportunity to educate the lady who didn't know anything," Farmer said.

Farmer tells ABC13 the child was "stimming," which is a way children on the spectrum use to calm themselves. Stimming usually refers to specific behaviors that can include rocking, spinning, or repetition of words and phrases.

She adds the woman could've gone to theater personnel to handle the situation, instead of how she reacted.

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