Aspergers and Me BBC Documentary


I've just finished watching the inspirational and affirming documentary Chris Packham: Aspergers and ME via BBC Iplayer (sorry only available in the UK).

And I have to say it was like catching a breathe of fresh air as someone else articulated what it's like for 25 million + people whom are diagnosed with the condition.

In the documentary Chris a wildlife presenter and zoologist describes he life as someone who went through his childhood and most of his adulthood developing coping mechanisms to deal with the stresses of normal life such as interacting with other people.

He admits that he's been fortunate to be a able to make a living and become financially interdependent at what he's passionate about  - unlike so many people who are discriminated against in the world of work.

He admits that he still have depressive episodes and avoids social situations (apart from work as a presenter on BBC's Spring Watch).

In the documentary he travel to U.S.A and witnesses at first hand attempts to cure autism and a school that 'trains' autistic children to normal in society - this make him depressed and visible upset as he remembers times in his life that he wished that he could've his Aspergers and become normal, but he accepts (like I've had to) that Aspergers has made him into he man he is and an important tool that has enabled him to talk about Animals passionately to millions around the world.

We meet his sister who tells him that his family was in awe of his passion and ability to talk about Animals that led to him in his teenage years to adopt a Kestrel and train it until its untimely death. AN event he says left him heart broken as he had formed an emotional bond with the bird.

Others we meet are his partner (who does not live with him but on another island ) as she struggles. to involve him in attending a wedding.

At the end we seeing him in California and Steve Silberman (author of the excellent book 'NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity' and the tome that convinced me that I have Aspergers as well as my dyslexia) as Chris visits the tech giants and how that are adapting there work environments to encourage people with autism to come and work for them, giving opportunities to those excluded from normal careers to become valued members of society.

He and Steve agree that it is society that must change and adapt to accommodate people like Chris and Me as it can miss out on millions of people that have something to positive to contribute to the wider world. This documentary is a reminder to all our individual responsibilities to accommodate neuro-atypical people like Chris and people