Yesterday evening, I managed to sit down and watch the new BBC One drama - The A Word. If you don't have a clue what It's about then let me tell you...
It's a new eight-part series which delivers a clear-insight to a close family which the parents discover their young son has got Autism. It's only the first episode however, already the family don't want to believe he's on the spectrum. They're in denial and don't want to believe this situation they're faced with. They don't want to hear the word Autism in their home which in upcoming episodes they're sure to come to terms with their son's diagnosis and understand it more.
In the first episode which aired last Tuesday on BBC One, the parents knew their was something different about Joe which of course they didn't want to believe it. As the family come together, they soon realise something different due to the way Joe communicates and behaves... (That's all I'm going to give away)...
Watching the series, my mum couldn't believe how similar this was going back to when I was growing up as a child. This including, the tantrums, choosing not to interact with others of similar ages, not understanding other's feelings etc.
I feel I can relate to this in a lot of ways. The similarities are very interesting to see. In the first episode, the young boy, Joe couldn't or didn't know how to put together a jigsaw puzzle which is very similar to me too. I still don't understand how to do jigsaw puzzles.
I watch my nephew and niece do one together now and I'm amazed at how they can put one together, I don't know how to even do the most simplest jigsaw now, let alone do one by myself. I also haven't got the determination to do it because I'd find it boring and get distracted too easily. It wasn't something I enjoyed because I simply didn't know how to.
Joe also enjoys his music. It's almost like he can't live without it. Growing up I was exactly the same. I was a huge fan of Avril Lavigne. You could say I was obsessed. I would listen to the music all day long and dance. I feel music was the only distraction to my situations and it still is a huge part of my life.
The third, similarity me and my mum picked up on was the interacting with others of similar ages. Socialising isn't my strongest skill. I didn't get invited to birthday parties because some people knew I was different in the way I behaved or acted in general. I would rather keep myself amused and do my own thing. I still struggle with that now, I enjoy my own company which I don't have many friends because I usually fall out with them over the silliest situations.
I remember having a friend who I grew up with in my area where I lived. I would always asked if we were still friends or asked have I done anything wrong? because I didn't understand others feelings, they would get frustrated because I would repeatedly ask them regularly. Again, I'm still the same now. I don't mind having no friends because I choose to keep myself occupied, I enjoy it.
The similarities, I'm sure are hugely common traits of autism, It comes under social awareness and of course behavioural difficulties.
It's great to be able to watch something on the TV that myself and my family can relate to. I hugely believe theirs not enough awareness of Autism. The series has become very popular which I've seen amongst social media, Facebook & Twitter. I'm glad there's a programme I can relate to and I hope it educates people about autism as It's certainly needed. Some people presume that a child with autism is just a naughty child and it's natural when they don't obviously know anything about autism. It is frustrating when people don't understand you.
I think The A Word is a greatly impressive performance and very well written and directed. I hope it spreads the awareness and more importantly make people more aware. Or help people think more positively of autism!
You can catch The-A-Word on Tuesday nights at 9pm On BBC One