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BBC drama The A Word to tackle autism

CharlotteL's picture

BBC drama The A Word to tackle autism

Tue 27 Oct 2015 5:16pm

Former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston has said he is “proud” to star in The A Word, a new six-part BBC1 drama with autism at its heart.

Has anyone else seen this announcement? It will be interesting to find out more about the show as it progresses. 

Charlotte, Community Manager

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  • SherpaMum's picture

    I have just googled about it.  It looks like it is from a series from Israel.  It says it is about a family dealing with a diagnosis in a funny and sensitive way.

    Hopefully it will be good.  Christopher Ecclestone is a good actor, so that is a positive to start with.  It is good to see autism hitting the screens, as it helps people understand it a bit better.

  • Buttercup's picture

    I always get a bit nervous when I see there is something about autism on the TV. It can be great, or it can be super annoying! Christopher Ecclestone is a great actor though so fingers crossed.

    Amy - Community Champion
  • michaelz's picture

    based on 2010 israeli series YELLOW PEPPERS about a family of farmers raising an autistic child in the remote arava desert.


    Autistic children are a pleasure, not a problem 

    Siobhan and Mark Keaney with their autistic son Sean and their daughter

     By Sarfraz Manzoor

    ...The process of learning to cope is a journey that all the parents I talked to – and the family in The A Word – have been on since receiving the autism diagnosis...

    ...While there were differences in their stories there were certain things on which they all agreed: the fears they had when first receiving the diagnosis were not justified and they had, through support and education, found ways to celebrate and enjoy their children and not allow the challenges to overshadow the pleasures...


  • SherpaMum's picture

    My son saw someone talking about the programme and could see parallels from when he was diagnosed.  It will be interesting to see what it is like and hopefully it will help to open people's eyes about ASD.

    Christopher Ecclestone is a good actor, so let's hope it is good.

  • SherpaMum's picture

    I have to admit that I was really impressed with the programme, great acting, great script, I hope it carries on as well. I would love to make it compulsory viewing for all those parents who don't send out party invites to the ASD child!

  • michaelz's picture

    2 hours and 15 minutes into bbc 5live afternoon edition approx.

    listeners and panel review the A word.
    bbc radio 4 - you and yours - autism phone-in

    tom purser from NAC says autism is a lifelong condition and `sufferers` can never change.

    not sure that's completely true.


  • michaelz's picture

    the A word referenced during discussion on bbc radio 5live daily.

    public reactions to child autists out-and-about.

    new NAS video.

    sharon king - 3 autistic children : rosie, daisy and lenny.

    main discussion starts about 10 minutes into show but listener's texts and phone calls throughout programme - e.g. damien : dad of 13-year-old phoning from newport 1 hour and 50 minutes into prog approx.

  • michaelz's picture

    article in i newspaper by chloe hamilton


    ...Lee Ingleby is in the Lake District when he calls me.

    He’s about to film a night shoot and is looking out of his window at a low fell called Latrigg, which has a huge black cloud hovering over it.

    He says this in his polite but downbeat Lancashire tone, which makes me wonder whether, perhaps, there’s a rain cloud hanging over him, too.

    The A Word The actor is in Cumbria to shoot the second series of The A Word, a BBC drama – co-starring Morven Christie and Christopher Eccleston – about a young family whose five-year-old son, Joe, is diagnosed with autism.

    The first series, which aired last spring, won plaudits for its accurate portrayal of the much-misunderstood condition.“Everyone’s story is different and everyone’s experience is different. It’s just one story. Within that, we wanted it to be as honest and truthful and interesting as possible.

    Ingleby, who plays Joe’s father, said his understanding of autism had been limited before he took the role. “I had most people’s experiences of autism, where you think you might know a bit but not really,” he says. “Or, you know, you’ve seen Rain Man, which is just one strand.”

    He did lots of research before filming the first series, spending “a fortune” on books to find out more about the disorder. There was a responsibility, he explains, to get it right. “Everyone’s story is different and everyone’s experience is different. It’s just one story. Within that, we wanted it to be as honest and truthful and interesting as possible.”

    The response to the series was heartening. Following one scene, in which Joe is seen not being invited to schoolfriends’ birthday parties, Ingleby was contacted by a fan of the show. “She said that because of that scene, her son got invited to his very first birthday party. It’s lovely to hear that people’s eyes have been opened to people being different.”

    Perhaps controversially, the show’s director, Peter Bowker, cast Max Vento, a child actor without autism, to play Joe. Ingleby believes it was the right decision. “It’s difficult enough for any child at that age [to play that role],” he says. “But a child having to go through his or her reality… it’s difficult without pretending.” He confirms that the new series will also include older autistic actors. “There’s one guy who’s in it, he’s 16 and he’s brilliant. He’s got a hefty storyline”...

  • SherpaMum's picture

    I Thought that the first series was good, showing the way different people cope with the diagnosis and the diagnosis process.

    the fact that it made neurotypical people think and act differently is huge. 

  • Ants's picture

    I enjoyed the A Word. Has anybody gotten round to watching the show it was adapted from? Yellow Peppers.


    Here's an interesting review of the A Word.

    Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning. By Mitch Albom, Tuesdays With Morrie


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