Joe Vento in The A-Word 

The A Word started on Tuesday 22 March, at 9pm. Written by award winner Peter Bowker, it has a stellar cast and crew, including Christopher Eccleston, Morven Christie, Lee Ingleby and Greg McHugh.

TV portrayals of autism can hugely influence public understanding, which is why we’re committed to working in culture to help increase the diversity of autistic characters on our screens.

We are particularly excited to watch The A Word because we worked with the show’s production team for over a year, reviewing scripts and advising on issues related to autism diagnosis.

Set in the stunning surroundings of the Lake District, The A Word explores complex family relationships in a small, fairly isolated town, and the impact a young boy’s autism has on his family and close-knit community.

Although he's only 6, brilliant newcomer Max Vento puts in a very convincing performance as the young boy Joe.

Jane Harris, Director of External Affairs, said, "Although this depicts only one family's experience of autism, we are glad to see a mainstream drama about autism. The writer Peter Bowker previously worked in special education and says he hopes that it opens up a wider conversation about autism and leads to more portrayals of different experiences.

"Around 4.7 million people watched the first episode. The week after episode one, a mother with an autistic child told us a member of the public was kinder to her than people had been previously and said 'I know, I've watched the programme'. So as far as we can tell, it is already having an impact. We will keep working with dramas like this and programmes like Holby City which include autistic characters in a more general storyline."

  • Watch the trailer
  • Let us know what you think of the series and tell your friends, because we’d like to hear from as many people as possible.