I'm pleased to see the return of another series of The A Word as the first series was such a success. It is now two years later and Joe is seven years old, we see the family learning how to cope after Joe's diagnosis of Autism and how they adapt to his condition as a family.
When watching the first series it was tough for me as a mum with a son who is also on the Autistic Spectrum. It brought back a lot of memories of his diagnosis and how the whole world of Autism completely changed our lives. It was emotional to watch but also I felt pride in a way that, finally I can watch a programme where I don't feel alone, there is a sense of reality and it raises awareness to those who know little about the condition.
The second series has got off to a great start, we are going to see the decisions which have to be made regarding education, is it better to go mainstream or special school? We took a route which involved both, my son went through mainstream until reaching secondary and after a lot of research and thought we decided a specialised school would be appropriate for our son and it was. I felt we had made the right decision and I personally couldn't have been happier with our choice.
It's tough and I think we are going to see the pressures and strains that arise along the way. I love the way this seems to be very real and I can relate to so much of the content. Max Vento is just brilliant at playing Joe in fact all the cast are phenomenal at getting this story over. My heart goes out to Paul and Alison Hughes played by the wonderful Lee Ingleby and Morven Christie as they portray us as parents but I just think the other star of the show is Christopher Eccleston who plays Joe's grandad.
Isn't he just so funny? He brings light entertainment and humour to the situation. Yes there are laughs to be had as well as tears. I just love him and you can bet if you are wanting to ask a question or you're not quite sure how to air your query, Maurice is going to just get in there and say it anyway. Blunt and straight forward he is but that's exactly what is needed. It isn't all about listening to professionals talk with their fancy lingo it's about hearing everything as it is and he brings that element to the show so well done BBC and perfectly acted by Christopher.
So on we go and I'm sure I will discuss it again probably at the end of the series to sum it all up. I would be glad to hear your comments, what do you think? Is it true to life? Can you relate to any of the characters?
I hope it does help and I hope it makes people think a little more about those who are living with Autism. Remember that there is support groups out there. I do help run support groups as part of the National Autistic Society and yes I can totally understand Paul (Joe's Dad) not finding it easy to engage in a group. I'm glad the programme touched on that because it is hard to go along and the stigma attached to the words 'support group' can be terrifying for some. It is really friendly though and such a good way to go forward with Autism, it allows you to gather information and speak to others who are going through exactly what you are going through.
We also have biscuits and a brew, what's more to be said? That's worth it alone for a brew, I'd go anywhere for a cuppa. So don't be put off please seek help, we are a friendly bunch. Maybe in the future with permission I may do a feature on one of our groups so that you can actually see what it is all about so watch this space.
Thanks for reading today, if you need any more information about Autism or would like to search for your local support group go to the National Autistic Society website at www.autism.org.uk
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.