BBC Autism Season

The BBC has a fabulous collection of autism-themed programmes and series for autism acceptance month, which are available for a further 2 weeks (from the first episode date), so catch them while they are available. The young folk all know how to tune in to and record the BBC, so ask them.

Employable Me

Employable Me is a fantastic, non-voyeuristic look at six adults searching for meaningful employment. Each one hour episode features one person with autism and one with Tourette syndrome. It is really interesting how the behaviours and traits cross over between these two distinctive diagnoses, and interesting to me how much my own difficulties and anxieties about (under)employment are faced by all six participants.

The participants’ humour throughout is amazing, and side-splitting in parts.

  1. Paul has Tourette’s syndrome and Brett is autistic (Wed 23 Mar 2016)
  2. Tom has Tourette’s syndrome and Ashley has autism (Wed 30 Mar 2016)
  3. Ellie has Tourette’s syndrome and Ben has autism (Wed 7 Apr 2016)

The A Word

Joe has a very cuddly, media-friendly form of autism – he tips dry Rice Crispies on the floor instead of smashing a bowl of porridge, comes out of his meltdowns with a song and is instantly calmed by his sister (the only normal one in the family). Nevertheless, a wide range of issues are raised and discussed in quite brutal honesty. The Yorkshire setting allows for a very blunt, matter-of-fact delivery of home truths about the family, and how their issues are projected onto Joe, who has communication problems that are diagnosed as autism.

He gets a more rapid and thorough assessment and makes his own decisions on schooling and friendships, which may be unrealistic to some. I would have preferred that Joe was played by an actor with autism and do not agree that “it would be unethical to cast a child who really was on the autism spectrum” ( any more than casting any other real child as a child.

So far, 3 episodes in, I am enjoying the series greatly.

(starting Tue 22 Mar 2016)


A nice addition to the season, Undercover is a crime drama series “in which a defence lawyer tries to finally uncover the truth of an old miscarriage of justice, while her husband goes to any lengths to conceal the truth about his own past.”
Their son “Dan is 18 but often seems like an outsize 12-year-old. His learning disability makes him a deeply literal boy. He can’t do irony, sarcasm, cynicism, white lies, nuance or nods and winks. But as the truth about his father emerges, Dan must learn to cope with a world of lies and deceit.”

Archive documentaries

Louis Theroux – Extreme Love: 1. Autism. (19 Apr 2012)
Louis visits one of the best schools in America for autism and meets the students.

The Autistic Me (11 Aug 2009)

Documentary following three people with autism on the road to being accepted as an adult.

Horizon 2013-2014: 10. Living with Autism (1 Apr 2014)

Professor Uta Frith shares the insight of her lifetime’s study of autism.

Horizon 2005-2006: The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow (8 Jun 2006)

How Dr Temple Grandin’s autism gives her a unique insight into animal behaviour.