I can't believe another series is over, it doesn't seem long since I wrote to say it had just started. The second series of The A Word has been another success with a great mix of entertainment, comedy and serious drama.
By now we must have all caught up that's if you didn't watch it intensely every week. I looked forward to my Tuesday fix as it was the one programme which told a story not of Joe's and his family's story of autism but probably a look into our own experiences too. It was so well written and very real. I laughed, cried and could relate to most of what went on.
It not only tackled issues such as choosing the right educational place for Joe but you also saw how his diagnosis was to affect the rest of the family too and it does. It's a massive change when you receive the diagnosis for your child, it sends your world into a uncertain future and you almost have this huge 'grief like' feeling where you change your outlook on your childs future to a life of uncertainty rather the one you may have had planned.
I was the one in our family who displayed behaviour that similar to Joe's dad played by the wonderful Lee Ingleby, it was me who couldn't take the diagnosis in and I wanted it to all go away. I found it hard, and it did take a toll on our marriage just as you see here with Paul and Alison. I can't blame Autism for the failure of our marriage as there were other factors that came into too and it would be almost saying that our son was the reason we didn't make it and I couldn't bear that because in fact he was the reason we stayed friends, stayed strong and although separated we united as great parents.
I hope they work through their troubles, people do. What I know now, years down the line is that Autism doesn't define any of us, it can take over our lives but I have learnt to live with it. There are still days I don't want it to be around but there are more days when I look at my son, feel proud and find Autism fascinating. I have also come to realise that Autism is more widely apparent in our family, and you can see that in Joe's grandad in The A Word played so brilliantly by Christopher Eccleston.
Every character in this programme is an individual masterpiece, from having not only a young boy with Autism but a young adult too and also Ralph with Downs Syndrome. Maybe in the future we may see a female with Autism, an idea for the next series maybe? It does seem to be male dominated at the moment and that is honestly my only criticism if I had to make one.
It's been great to have something out there on prime time tv which raises awareness about autism and basically says to those who don't know that 'this is how it is'. Try not to criticise Autism whether it's on the topic of behaviour, or how much of a disability it may be, and people do. There are still people who don't quite understand how it affects us as families, so I would say please watch this and and try and understand more. Our stories are all different and levels of Autism different but don't be quick to judge before you've walked a mile in our shoes.
I hope to see a third series as I now can't imagine being without this and we need to see Joe continue through his next stage in life. I would like to say a big thank you to all the cast and crew, writers and production for this wonderful series. Well done to Max Vento especially who plays Joe as he is amazing, I feel a load of awards coming their way surely?
So much more to come and gosh I think together as families we could probably all write the script. I can't wait..
Thank you for reading today, I know it's Christmas Eve tomorrow but please pop by when you're all ready for Santa and taking a break with your mulled wine. Till then take care.
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.