BBC’s ‘The A Word’ begins airing next week

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It’s a hard act to follow but BBC’s eagerly anticipated drama about autism, The A Word, will air in the 9.00 – 10.00pm slot on Tuesdays vacated by Happy Valley

The first episode of the six-part drama, which will be shown on Tuesday 22 March, introduces us to the seven main characters: husband and wife Paul and Alison Hughes; their two children, 16-year-old Rebecca and five-year-old Joe; Alison’s father, Maurice Scott; and Alison’s brother Eddie and wife Nicola.

The Hughes live in an idyllic Lake District home and it their coming together with other family members to celebrate Joe’s fifth birthday and the events that follow that elicit the inevitable question: is Joe ‘normal’.

How it all turns out we will have to wait and see. What’s certain is that everyone with a personal or professional interest in autism will scrutinise the portrayal of Joe. Some, like journalist Simon Hattenstone and his autistic daughter Maya, have already done so. You can read their thoughts here. We would love to know yours.

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Special World, from Inclusive Technology, is a free website linking 125,000 special education teachers, speech therapists and occupational therapists in 150 countries. Special World readers and contributors work with children who have additional needs or special educational needs including those with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties and disabilities.

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