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The A Word : Should we re-title it ‘Fifty Shades of Grasmere’?

Remember last week’s teaser about ‘A brilliant Speech and Language Therapist I’m going to refer them to’? Well she arrived. Maggie. Hardly the best in my view ! The bossy, domineering and dysfunctional therapist must have really got the goat of all the lovely Speech and Language Therapists I work with. She seriously overstepped the mark in her ‘assessment’ of Joe, and became a very amateur Psychologist into the bargain. Her declarations about ‘unresolved tensions’ in the family, and Joe being the ‘lightening rod’ were way off the mark. And completely out of order. All this in the name of coming to ‘help Joe’!

Most disappointing was her complete inability to work with Joe’s immediate and extended family. I was with Grandad, who declared the whole situation ludicrous, and was off for a ‘rendezvous’ with his music teacher. Wouldn’t it have been nice if the SALT could have sat down and worked with mum to model some communication strategies for Joe – which is what SALTs do best? But no! None of this realism was ever destined to emerge from screenwriter Peter Bowker’s pen.  Instead he threw us the script of a serious bit of past history between Joe’s mum and the SALT (centring on bullying between them as teenagers).

When Joe’s mum pursued, quite literally, the SALT to get her to work with Joe in their home ‘three times a week’, I asked myself ‘how come the SALT didn’t explain what her role was, and the limits of her involvement, BEFORE mum got it into her head about the three sessions of SALT she wanted for Joe?  Again, one can only assume now it was the chosen literary device by Bowker to build the confrontation and unresolved tension nicely to a climax between the two of them, which ended in some rather choice language by mum directed at the SALT !

Meanwhile in mum’s absence as she has jaunted off to Manchester to find Maggie the SALT, a strange woman is picking Joe up from school and taking him to his sister’s play in the evening. Can someone remind me who she is ? And how interesting that the home education appears to have been tossed aside in favour of Joe going back to school. Again not a teacher in sight. Indeed I wondered if there are any teachers in this school, or just a few robots- which Joe would probably love.

The opening sequence to the episode showed Joe going off on one of his romps around the fells complete with his headphones. By the end of it Joe wasn’t the only one who’d been for a romp! In fact the whole episode was characterised by a series of romps involving his various family members. Indeed the only ones not romping were Joe’s own mum and dad. However….


It’s my guess it’ll be dad Paul’s turn for a bit of romping of his own in the next episode;  it won’t be with his wife, but rather with the mystery blond woman we saw seated next to him in his emerging restaurant.

Heaven help us if this drama is going to descend into ‘Fifty Shades of Grasmere’!

So, it’s not about the A word at all then?  Funny that.

Oh well, I’m off to my garage to dig out that old table tennis table I just have lying around, for a game of ‘ping pong’ (sic). Anyone care to join me for a game, or perhaps a romp on the Malvern Hills ?


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