Well the BBC1 drama continues to grip my attention for all the wrong reasons. It seems, given episode 2, that it’s not only Joe who has communication problems given his recent ASD diagnosis. We saw his parents (Alison and Paul) completely failing to talk to each other about appropriate ‘schooling’ for Joe. His mother – without mentioning to dad,- removed him from his very small primary school, to begin home schooling. Then we saw dad visiting a special school without discussing with his wife until afterwards. On top of that no-one had any conversation with Joe’s mainstream primary school about what they were doing (had done). And no-one bothered to mention it to Joe, who arrived at school one morning, early, and under his own steam. This really is not a good role model for parental communication, and communication with schools. But I suppose it makes for ‘pure drama’.
Again, all totally unrealistic and sets a bad example for parents of youngsters with a recent ASD diagnosis.
I was particularly shocked at the line uttered by dad ‘There are so many cures available for Autism’. WRONG ! Autism is a lifelong neuro-developmental condition. Yes there’s lots of amelioration possible, but CURE ? No way. So misleading. Perhaps the BBC should have included the rider ‘No autism experts were consulted in the making of this drama’ with the closing titles.
Once again the dubious ‘involvement’ of professionals (notably the ‘expert’ Paediatrician ‘St Michael’) sent a completely inaccurate message to Joe Public. His saintliness is apparently going to result in an instant referral to a Speech and language therapist for Joe. Dream on ! Most of my parents wait years to get a referral for SALT or any other professional involvement (e.g. OT)
The irony of the (repetitive) soundtrack of ‘World Shut Your Mouth’ (Julian Cope) was not lost on me !
I’m sorry BBC drama, but there’s only so far I can suspend my disbelief with ‘The A Word’. I’m planning a ‘Psychologist in the Pub’ talk to correct the views, impressions and attitudes which have been so mis-sold to Joe Public about Autism by this drama.