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To think 'The A Word' has lost it a bit

(170 Posts)
Justmeagain78 Tue 05-Apr-16 23:06:19

This series has been so moving and educational so far I was utterly disappointed with tonight's episode. What could have been a realistic portrayal of the struggle families go through to get support turned into a ridiculous farce. The specialist with a childhood grudge against Joe's mum was just silly and unrealistic. The mum is also starting to be portrayed as a pantomine villain rather than a flawed mum who loves her son. The family dramas have overshadowed Joe and his issues - I really don't care about granddad, the Viagra and the ukulele lady or watching the family lurch from bickering to snogging - I wanted something better than Eastenders! Such a shame.

Xmasbaby11 Tue 05-Apr-16 23:09:14

Yep I agree. Joe is a lovely boy but I'm not getting much of his character - there are just too many story lines going on.

Abominablebride Tue 05-Apr-16 23:11:40

im still enjoying it, my feeling is that the 'soapy' aspect is to draw in viewers with little or no knowledge of ASD.
As a mum with a child on the spectrum I could happily watch a whole hour each week of Joe but I guess that wouldn't appeal to a mass audience.
I just hope they aren't heading down the route of the dad having a fling as next weeks clip seemed to suggest!

Ticktacktock Tue 05-Apr-16 23:22:06

Did they have to make the therapist someone from the mums school with a grudge?! That was disappointing. I thought it was an unnecessary part of the storyline. They obviously want a broad appeal and so have added in lots of extra drama. I will watch the whole series but I was hoping for more of Joe.

I did think Joe getting attention at the sisters performance for all the wrong reasons was well done. As in real life, the audience just thought he was a poorly disciplined child. The mother being late was neither here nor there. As if Joe noticed.

Summerwood1 Tue 05-Apr-16 23:23:57

It could of been a great programme. All the sex scenes spoil it completely. I'm really disappointed because it had the potential to be great and educational.

TheNIghtManagersWife Tue 05-Apr-16 23:28:13

I loved this episode and the series so far, but I speak as someone with zero knowledge of autism. It's the family dynamics and the impact on the teenage daughter that I really like watching it for. I enjoyed the therapist storyline today, I don't think it showed mum as a bully but more than having an autistic child would make you face other issues head-on too?

Mouseinahole Tue 05-Apr-16 23:32:46

I do agree that tonight's episode got rather 'soapy' but overall it is excellent.

gamerchick Tue 05-Apr-16 23:37:19

I'm enjoying it but then I didn't go in thinking it was going to be a documentary.

If it's going to make you whine then don't watch it.

BennyTheBall Tue 05-Apr-16 23:46:54

We watched the first two. Thought the 'side' stories a bit implausible, but gave it a go.

Started to watch tonight's, gave up after 10 minutes, just when incongruous grandad went to highly unlikely love interest's house and she answered the door with a ukele in her hand.

We won't bother - it's too silly.

wheelofapps Tue 05-Apr-16 23:48:30

I didn't think it was going to be a documentary either.

but - the 'instant' diagnosis when many families struggle for years?
the 'therapist' with the personal grudge?
the chaotic family with awful communation issues projected onto child?

not a realistic portrayal for people with no experience of ASD.

wheelofapps Tue 05-Apr-16 23:49:11

ahem. communication issues.

gamerchick Tue 05-Apr-16 23:53:23

So what? People with no experience don't want boring telly and let's face it the long road is mind numbing. If soap gets people's interest then who gives a toss?

It's spiking amongst the sex and carry on all those things that bother me on a personal basis. Those things will stick in people's brains when they come across autism IRL.

wheelofapps Wed 06-Apr-16 00:07:25

more realistic doesn't have to = boring, surely?

how do you mean spiking?
which bit bothers you?

PandasRock Wed 06-Apr-16 00:14:25

I have no problem with showing that life goes on with and around autism. We all know it does, and that it is a juggling act. All well and good.

The lazy stereotyping of the parents as hopeless, selfish, bullies with little empathy or understanding of anything, much less any insight at all into the child they have loved and cared for for five years, is beyond infuriating.

The cheap thrills with all the emphasis on sex - would typical family life and drama not be enough?

The easy get out of Joe behaving 'badly' at his sister's play - why was he there anyway? They clearly had no problem getting a sitter, as she was there with him. Since when would any family drag a 5 year old along to a showing of Antigone?! Let alone one who had little interest in being there, or ability to follow any of it. And having taken him, why insist on him removing the one thing guaranteed to keep him quiet and happy? Totally unrealistic, but could have been so accurate.

The behaviours shown were very good, on the other hand, and the scriptwriters/director seem to have ensured a lot of incidental parts of autism - lots of repetitive behaviours, many recognisable situations and outcomes.

HughGrantsHair Wed 06-Apr-16 00:18:59

I'm enjoying the series.

Im taking the side stories as demonstrating that not only Joe with autism has difficulties communicating. They all do.

Grandad and his very abrupt ways (which I keep expecting someone to come out and say they think he has undiagnosed ASD).

Mum who doesn't actually listen when she's being spoken to. She hears what she wants.

Mum and Dad's lack of communication with their teenage daughter.

And the other couple who are using sex instead of dealing with the issues in their relationship.

They skipped over the diagnosis I think because the series isn't about getting diagnosed. It's about a family living with autism. They did mention that he had been seen by more people before the diagnosis was done.

It is a drama though after all. Not a documentary.

MyFriendGoo52 Wed 06-Apr-16 00:21:38

It's a bag oshite.

I know many, many kids on the spectrum at varying levels, none would have managed to.sit through an entire, school performance with that low level of fuss. His meltdowns are feeble and resolvable. A meltdown is a complete, loss of control. They can go on for hours and exhaustion follows.... watching the A word version.i'm sat there thinking put some bloody welly into it.

Such a shame as the child is clearly a good actor, they could have done so much more with his character. Instead they've made him look like a bit of a brat who's fucked up and attention seeking because his mum's a bully who wants him to be normal hmm

MyFriendGoo52 Wed 06-Apr-16 00:24:17

Oh and the Grandad.

Sorry but Christipher Eggleston is far too young to be playing a bigoted old fool. He looks young enough to be his dad ffs. 😂😂😂

zzzzz Wed 06-Apr-16 00:32:45

I don't think a more accurate description of the diagnostic process and early years with autism WOULD be boring telly. I find the endless sex scenes (or rather "implied sex" it isn't graphic) boring.

The speech therapist who does amateur family therapy is just a weird character. In what world does that happen grin. What family has grandparents, uncles, aunts, both parents and siblings sit down round a table to be goaded about their family dynamic confused ? Speech therapists help children with communication, they don't offer "family therapy" they sit and play games that teach you pronouns and verbs and how to ask someone to play with you.

It's a weird series because in many ways the autism is such a side issue. Not a problem but if it was a series called "The C Word" about cancer, would we expect to know SOMETHING about the person with the condition by now? How they felt? What they did with their day? Who they loved? hated? What they wanted?

Just bloody odd.

PandasRock Wed 06-Apr-16 00:33:01

That's just the thing, MyFriend. It has managed to take just about all the crappy stereotypes about autism - dysfunctional family, child not talking because the family don't talk to him/communicate well enough/model properly, simple path through diagnosis, find specialists at the drop of a hat, said specialists work miracles (highlighting just how crap the parents are, because people, who have barely met Joe can get him playing/talking but they can't), chuck in a nice little mention of 'tactical autism' (wtf is that even supposed to be - oh yes, those families with 'high functioning' children who have clearly only pursued a diagnosis (already shown to be so quick and easy to get) for all those advantages it brings what a pile of shite ).

It is just so damaging, on so many levels, that a wider audience, who maybe had little to no experience of autism, are being fed this kind of bullshit.

zen1 Wed 06-Apr-16 00:49:35

I had higher hopes for the programme and would have liked a more realistic portrayal of the ins and outs of having a child with autism and more of an attempt to see things from Joe's perspective. The speech therapist really annoyed me tonight. I know it's a drama and not meant to be informative, but it did wind me up that the therapist character was so far removed from reality. Also, as a pp pointed out, I felt this was damaging because there could be people watching and wondering whether to seek help for their own children and be completely put off thinking that a speech therapist (often the first point of contact for DC with communication difficulties) would sit there analysing and commenting on family dynamics.

MyFriendGoo52 Wed 06-Apr-16 00:55:22

It was bollocks.

And that sort of interaction can take weeks to build.

MajesticWhine Wed 06-Apr-16 00:59:41

I like it. Lots of it seems far fetched especially all the sex. And the mum being so unreasonable harassing the SALT. But it's a drama and it's very watchable and well acted (mostly).
I wonder if the only people getting annoyed with this program have a personal experience which makes it jarring, which would be totally understandable.

mumoseven Wed 06-Apr-16 04:34:38

Christopher Ecclestone is easily old enough to be a grandad round our way!
And lolling like a twat at a series called The C Word

TheNaze73 Wed 06-Apr-16 07:44:50

I think it's really good still. I'm watching it as a piece of disposable to drama, not a Bbc4 education piece. The Mum is a great actress to be that annoying

ohlittlepea Wed 06-Apr-16 07:48:35

Who wrote it? It's almost a bit 'stella' in style..I felt miffed about the therapist because it might put people off seeking help....but I know it has to have some favourite character is the uncle he's fab.

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