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Chris Packham's documentary on autism

(218 Posts)
Pariswhenitdrizzles Sat 21-Oct-17 21:36:29

Just wondering what your thoughts are on Chris Packham's documentary about autism? Just watched it.

Bananasandchocolatecustard Sat 21-Oct-17 21:39:49

I saw it and it made me feel sad as my son was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s.

Popfan Sat 21-Oct-17 21:43:59

I thought it was amazing. A must watch for anyone who works with people who have autism. Chris Packham is very brave

TheSecondOfHerName Sat 21-Oct-17 21:50:21

I watched it. I have a father and a son with Asperger's; I have most of the traits but don't currently wish to pursue assessment/diagnosis.

I thought it was very interesting; he was honest and articulate in describing his experiences.

His opinion of ABA and his standpoint in the cure vs acceptance debate are obviously from the viewpoint of someone who is high functioning, so other people might have very different feelings about it.

PosiePootlePerkins Sat 21-Oct-17 21:51:26

I was pleased to watch it. I have always felt I never quite 'got' him on TV and the documentary explained an awful lot about him and his struggles. I thought he was very honest and open and hopefully it will help others in a similar situation.

CloudPerson Sat 21-Oct-17 22:02:20

I really enjoyed it, it's about time for some more positive but at the same time real (I mean highlighting the difficulties) stories about what it is to be autistic.

I fully agree with his stance on ABA, and there are plenty of stories out there by people who went through ABA and now consider themselves survivors, and now live with the PTSD caused by it to see that it isn't judged damaging just by autistic people with lower support needs.
In America treatments can be harsher than in the uk, it's not that long ago that autistic children and adults were subject to painful electric shock treatments to try to cure them, something which was considered unethical to perform on serial rapists and paedophiles, just to give an example of how shockingly autistic people can be treated. Not to even go into the subject of bleach enemas that some autistic activists are currently highlighting.

JonSnowsWife Sat 21-Oct-17 22:07:20

I saw it, I found it very interesting, it also made me very sad in parts though. The electric current therapy to cure it just made me think that's how they tried to 'cure' gay people.

It does show how much progress we still need to make and acceptance of people on the spectrum though. I have spent the last few days dealing with a fallout from DSs school over his behaviour, with a "well we have x y and z with autism and they never do that". <le sigh>

deckoff Sat 21-Oct-17 22:17:51

As an aspie I was a bit frustrated by the vagueness, the general lack of research, contextualisation and storytelling. The US bits seemed particularly cherry-picked and I wondered how representative they were or what the point of them was. His girlfriend seemed actively resentful of him and it wasn’t clear why they were together.

But - it was “just” his story, not meant to be a documentary on the condition itself, and it was brave of him to speak up and tell his most socially “embarrassing” stories. I wouldn’t dare.

What did you think OP? Why do you ask?

thefutureisours Sat 21-Oct-17 23:30:58

I just watched this and cried the whole way through. My ds is currently being assessed for autism. It's made me think a lot about my son and what is best for him.

stayathomegardener Sat 21-Oct-17 23:51:00

Watched it by myself and again with DH.
I think Chris was brave and honest.
It really moved us both.

Flisspaps Sat 21-Oct-17 23:55:28

I have ASD.

I thought it was very good.

Severide08 Sat 21-Oct-17 23:59:14

I watched it ,i am a support worker with people with learning difficulties including autism. I thought it was brave of him and I hated that place in America,but that is my thought just looked all wrong to me .I have been a support worker for 22yrs and i still think there is a lot misunderstanding around autism ie that is just a naughty child. He was very open and honest and I think it was a really good programme.

InspMorse Sun 22-Oct-17 00:04:18

Brilliant! Absolutely invaluable for someone with ASD to communicate to us how his mind works.
Hearing CP explaining how he feels and why he behaves the way he does was eye-opening!

potatoscowls Sun 22-Oct-17 00:08:17

i wish he'd emphasised a bit more that the problem isn't autism per se, it's other people's shittiness and nastiness towards autism that is the problem

potatoscowls Sun 22-Oct-17 00:10:13

there shouldn't be a debate about "curing" autism, the idea is as abhorrent as gay conversion therapy.

Misspilly88 Sun 22-Oct-17 00:10:43

I think that came across well potato.

I loved it. Very brave.

toffee1000 Sun 22-Oct-17 00:34:11

The biggest problem with ASD is that it is a spectrum, everyone is affected differently. You get people who do really well out of life (eg Tim Burton and Stanley Kubrick are both thought to have it, although not had a dx) and on the other hand you get children who are nonverbal, doubly incontinent, cannot do a thing for themselves etc. Someone on another thread said something about the possibility of a cure being appealing to those parents of low-functioning kids, and that Packham not wanting a cure was "insulting" to her. I pointed out that if a cure was developed, it would just lead to a slippery slope of some lives being seen as less worth living than others, and would lead to an ethical dilemma. Plus I think it was pretty clear that Chris said he didn't want a cure for him, and although he didn't like the idea of a cure/ABA he could understand at least why some parents might look at ABA. No-one else mentioned the cure again on that thread, though.
The problem with "Autistic Spectrum Disorder" as a catch-all term is that it is far too broad, and, as I said, everybody is affected differently- if you've met one person with ASD, you've met one person with ASD.

MmmmBopDooWop Mon 23-Oct-17 20:29:27

I watched this with DD13 today. She was dx with autism two years ago and much television dramas or documentaries have not focused on the real feelings or struggles of people on the AS.

It was a welcome change to have someone with autism presenting a documentary than someone without trying to understand it and really engaged with her more.

JonSnowsWife Mon 23-Oct-17 21:02:22

it's other people's shittiness and nastiness towards autism that is the problem

I agree @potatoscowls , My Mum is disabled, I still remember people picking on her in the street (and me going to lamp them one) because of her disability. If the same happened today they'd be horrified.

Yet somehow it's acceptable to do so with people with autism. Just spend half an hour on twitter when an autism topic comes up and see the vitriol that is spilled out. Or the people in RL who should know better but don't, the most disablism we have encountered with DS came from his bloody senco. The scary thing is, I bet they didn't even realise they were doing it, whilst advocating for children with SNs.

sadiemm2 Mon 23-Oct-17 21:04:00

I think ABA is barbaric, and ablist. I know someone who has been through it, and they are NC with parents as they consist abuse

JeReviens Mon 23-Oct-17 21:09:22

Can someone tell me what ABA is please? DH newly diagnosed as having Apsergers so this is all unknown territory for us

ownedbySWD Mon 23-Oct-17 21:09:37

there shouldn't be a debate about "curing" autism, the idea is as abhorrent as gay conversion therapy.

Parents of.children, teenagers and adults who are incontinent, violent, non-verbal and will never live independent lives may well disagree with that statement.

I believe the diagnosis for autism is far too broad. My so-called high functioning ds has his struggles, but it isn't even close to being comparable with other children who are also autistic.

MikeUniformMike Mon 23-Oct-17 21:14:26

AFAIK, CP is self-diagnosed.

MmmmBopDooWop Mon 23-Oct-17 21:17:04

je ABA us applied behaviour therapy.

Please don't give owned the time of day, its pathetic!

Summerswallow Mon 23-Oct-17 21:19:59

I found it a fascinating documentary on many levels- the sheer intensity of Chris's passions, his love for the kestrel in particular, the rather strange relationship with his girlfriend (if it works for them...), his loneliness in the teen years, it was an insight into the workings of another person's mind which you very rarely get, especially one with Aspergers.

I don't know how 'typical' he is or whether that really is the point of it- it was an insight into his world.

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