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Chris Packham, Asperger's and me
  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 1,108
    Have you had a chance to watch the recent documentary "Chris Packham, Asperger's and me"? I'd certainly recommend it.

    It was a genuinely moving programme with an incredibly honest account of living with Asperger's. There were many interesting points but I really liked his view on allowing the individual to be who they are. In essence he was saying communities should not try to change people, but learn to better understand and adapt to accommodate them. As an individual with autism it's not about what you can't do, it's about what you can do!
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,558
    Hi, I managed to see the last half of the programme and felt that it was one of the first times I had encountered a very moving/emotional programme about a man with Asperger's Syndrome.
    He was very honest about his feelings and after listening to him say how close he was to his (kestrel) bird of prey, but did not want to be in close proximity to humans, it helped me understand my own son with AS so much better.
    Well worth watching!
  • Agree with the sentiment completely, but as a fellow Aspie I can tell Chris and everyone that there is a snowball's chance in hell of society changing. Perhaps when the numbers of autism have risen enough, and us autistics become the majority, the pendulum will swing the other way! :-B
  • A beautifully made, moving, painful programme.

    Have you read his Fingers in the Sparkle Jar? It doesn't use the words autistic or Asperger's anywhere but it does beautifully convey the intensity of experience - and how wonderful that can be (not as in 'get me a job' or 'benefit society') as well as how difficult at times.

    I did think that in a way setting up the comparison between ABA and other therapies designed to 'change'/cure children and young people (those shown certainly), and himself and the software chap was perhaps a little unequal (even though I share his perspective) And of course, it's not PDA...

    I know the 'acceptance' message is one that has been excerpted widely as the main one from the programme... but I thought it was more complicated than that. He was pretty much telling us that when Scratchy dies (and he has liver disease), it *will* tip him over the edge. I did wonder how much 'acceptance' is the whole answer to that level of intensity. I am fervently hoping he has a plan or those close to him have a plan. I was thinking about that especially as my son will be threatening suicide as soon as I tell him he is coming away with us for a few days next week... would acceptance be never trying to take him on holiday again? Or is it not telling him about it until he has finished college for the week? Or only ever booking somewhere with WiFi so he can still watch YouTube? Or...?

    Brilliant timing ahead of Autumnwatch when we can see him getting on with his job.
  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 1,108
    No I haven't read the book yet but it's on my wish list!

    I agree there were many themes and I too hope that when Scratchy passes there will be enough support and Chris can somehow find the strength he'll need not to tip him too far over that edge. I find it hard to understand that level of intensity over things but I don't doubt that it exists as I see it in my daughter too!

    How acceptance fits into things certainly raises interesting questions!

    (I hope your half-term break goes well too and your son does cope ok with the news)
  • Holly59
    Posts: 2,586
    Until Autism Spectrum affected my family I knew Absolutly Nothing about the issues . I agree with PDA-ASD -Parent the level of ignorance and not wanting to understand is horrendous . If it doesn't affect you why bother find out .

    I am guilty of that . Autism to me was the severely Autistic child . I had no idea whatsoever of the different issues involved ..

    My youngest has told me he only likes Musicians not human beings . A wise choice .

    I find it quite amusing the amount of people who have asked me have I watched the programme . I deal with the issues every day .

    I only wish there were more Programmes , more understanding of the issues involved . I found the American School section horrendous . I haven't been able to watch all of that .

    It was the comment a few weeks ago , I have a friend with Aspergers I do understand . Where do we start on PDA .

    As one grandparent quoted in the Petition , Educate , Educate , Educate .

    An inspirational man .

    Thank you Chris xx
  • June67
    Posts: 781
    As you say a very honest and moving portrayal of his 'normal'. I would like my oldest to watch it to help him see it's ok to be himself as he won't take my word for it. Think is was good to mix the personal with some of the challenging facts/statistics and realities and different views of the 'mainstream' population. We have to start somewhere, small steps on a long journey.
  • I think your eldest feels like that precisely because of the attitudes in society. Children can be really cruel towards schoolmates who are a bit different, a massive amount of autistic children are bullied and marginalised. It doesn't change much when they become adults, it just becomes more furtive, workplace bullying, mate crime, not being selected for a job (with criteria being discriminatory from the outset such as requirement for 'team working') etc. Autistics feel they have to mask because the reaction if they are themselves is often not positive. It's like a tribal thing. An autistic is (in whatever way it happens) ostracised from the tribe. I feel like a different species of human to non-neurodiverse humans. That's why many autistics say they feel alien.
  • I agree with everyone, a very moving and inspiring programme, which gave me more insight into my daughter. Planning to watch it again so I can take it all in properly. Plus it has made me think that maybe I need to give in to her pleading for a dog!
  • HarHer
    Posts: 323

    I thought it was a very honest and sensitive account of living with AS and that fact that Chris has made a very successful career from his special interest and inspired his step daughter to follow in his footsteps shows the potential strength of individuals with autism.

    The training organisation for which I work has also recommended the programme as potential CPD for tutors and I have also been recommending it for learners who work in the caring professions.

    Like PDA_ASD_Parent, I would like my son who has an irrational hatred of 'autism' to watch the programme because it is honest and positive.

  • gerry
    Posts: 46
    To Ruby Tuesday.

    We got my daughter her first dog when she was 7 and 'Lucky' (she named him after one of the 101 dalmations as 'she was' a dalmation at that time) and he proved to be an invaluable asset and help as a 'way in' to getting her to do lots of every day tasks and we used Lucky as a road into connecting and motivating her to do things in an indirect non demanding way.

    She is now 26 and has her second dog Charlie who is an even better support and he helps reduce her anxiety levels and calm her down. Charlie is now totally deaf but Cara has been teaching him sign language, he is such a smart boy he has picked up quite a lot of this. An indication of Charlie's importance to Cara was that he was recently diagnosed with cancer and had to have major surgery, which cost us a small fortune. but we knew how vital Charlie is to her well being that we found the money. I'm happy to say Charlie has now fully recovered and although getting on a bit, he's now 14, he is once again back to being totally devoted to Cara and there for times when she just needs to stroke him to help calm herself down. He could quite easily be a therapist pet!

    i would have no hesitation in recommending a dog for a child with PDA but of course it has to be the right dog with the right personality.


  • RhanHRhanH
    Posts: 1,108
    Recently posted by Chris Packham: Hello . Aspergers and me . If you’ve watched and commented I’d like to thank you Please read this #Aspergersandme

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