Monday, 12 April 2010
Young, Autistic & Stagestruck
After dealing with autism all day, watching it as my evening's entertainment is often the last thing I want to do.
However, I'm so glad I was cajoled into watching Young, Autistic and Stagestruck (Channel 4, Mondays 8pm).
The series follows nine autistic youngsters through their attempt to stage a variety show at a prestigious London theatre.
Funny and heart-breaking in equal measure, it was compulsive viewing, particularly for us as ASD parents.
What was so uplifting was seeing so many scenarios that are commonplace to our lives, but usually happen behind closed doors and are never aired on TV: the tantrumming, the sulks, the shouting, the hyperactivity, the swearing, the smearing poo, the rudeness and the odd behaviour, ....the sheer strangeness that is normality for a family living with autism.
Flicking through reviews of the programme, the word voyeuristic kept cropping up: this seems more a reflection of people's discomfort with autistic people and how they behave rather than a true representation of the programme, which was pretty sensitively handled.
What was particularly heartwarming was seeing the group grow in cohesion, the performers grow in confidence and the brave (!) directors' confidence grow in this unique bunch of kids and the quirky humour which ensued.
Can't wait for next week's episode!