Musings on The A Word

In my job I communicate with a range of therapists to create IEP targets, social stories and visual aids to help IMG_9356autistic children with specific learning, social, emotional, therapy and behavioural needs. In The A Word I felt it would have been ideal to see a more accurate portrayal of therapists’ intervention strategies and how they can help Joe. Also, by putting more focus on the school to explore Joe’s classmates’ reactions towards him and the teachers’ efforts
to understand him or their struggle to accommodate his needs would have been an interesting angle for viewers to explore.

I was surprised at Joe’s regular bouts of wandering off for walks on his own. Autistic or not, an unattended 5 year old roaming the streets on their own, is simply dangerous. Although Joe didn’t understand the potential dangers, in reality, the potential threat needed to be honed in to Joe both verbally and through visual prompts to help him understand.

“Growing up with autism can be difficult but we’ve seen how understanding and support can make a huge difference.” Carol Povey, Director of the Centre for Autism

Music was shown as Joe’s favourite pastime – his way of tuning out and tapping into his inner world. Joe’s interest in music was nurtured by the family as this may turn out to be a talent in later years. I felt Joe’s continued desire to listen to and control the music he listens to could have been aided with adult support through sensory integration, music therapy and social emotional targets/rewards to carefully schedule when and how much time he spends listening to music. That said, it was early in Joe’s diagnosis with the parents still coming to terms with his diagnosis.

IMG_9355

I hope more broadcasters continue to follow suit to raise awareness of children and adults on the autistic spectrum. But most  importantly, I urge the media to accurately portray the real impact and intricacies of autism, as this can help increase public understanding and make a positive difference to inclusion.

Yours truly,

Miss H ♥

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