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Dr Anna Kennedy OBE was invited to the preview screenings of Episode 1 of both series of BBC One’s returning drama The A Word.
Anna Kennedy shares: ‘I am excited to see now how Series 3 of The A Word picks up a few years on from where the programme left Joe, now 10 years old, who is played by the talented actor Max Vento and how is character has evolved and how he has changed and progressed.
Writer Peter Bowker chatted to Anna at the premiere of the second series. Peter says: ‘Autistic is a word Joe has heard but can’t yet understand. Different is what he feels, and fears might be something bad. It’s up to the whole family to help Joe make sense of who he is and his place in the world. But to do that, they must first be honest about themselves.’
The series stars Christopher Eccleston, Lee Ingleby, Morven Christie, Greg McHugh, and Molly Wright.
Autism campaigner Anna Kennedy is enjoying the third series and felt Peter Bowker had taken on board comments and reviews made by families of children with autism from the first two series.
Anna shares: ‘I am loving the relation of Max with his sister; it’s so lovely. I also love Christopher Eccleston’s character; his facial expressions are priceless. Another of my favourite characters is the Travis Smith who plays the character Mark Berwick. Travis is autistic and is doing a fabulous job and a great role model for the autism community.
‘You are never going to please the whole of the autism community. However, what the programme does is spark conversation about autism and the programme. Even though my sons are 27 and 30, there were certain scenes that pulled at my heart strings and brought back memories of the struggles and anxieties; but also remembering and celebrating special moments and laughs that were shared as a family.’
Anna adds: ‘Recently many parents have asked me: “When is the right time to share your son or daughters diagnosis with them?”, In my opinion it’s when you feel it is the right time. You know your child best. It is important to work with your son or daughter’s school and plan as much as possible together to support the child. There are some great books available that can help you explain too.’
She concludes: ‘I am looking forward to seeing how the series progresses until the end and look forward to the possibility of Series 4.’