BBC to air documentary on presenter Chris Packham's autism

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BirdInFlight
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09 Oct 2017, 8:51 am

Chris Packham is a British naturalist and TV presenter of wildlife shows, like a younger version of David Attenborough.

"Packham, 56, who has enjoyed a 30-year television career anchoring programmes including The Really Wild Show and Springwatch, was diagnosed with Asperger’s in his late 40s.

In a candid new documentary, which will be broadcast next week, Packham allowed BBC camera crews to film his daily struggle with autism for the first time."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/10/09/chris-packham-living-aspergers-spent-30-years-telly-trying-best/

I will be very interested to see this.



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09 Oct 2017, 8:22 pm

I think it's great that an aspie is a regular feature on a major TV channel.


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BirdInFlight
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10 Oct 2017, 10:29 am

Yes, it is great isn't it? He's seen by quite a large number of viewers, and to think that most people probably don't even really know he is on the spectrum.

I'm excited for this documentary because many people still don't realize that autism is a spectrum and there are people like Chris on the spectrum.



BirdInFlight
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10 Oct 2017, 12:59 pm

I just checked the listing, and this is on at 9pm, Tuesday October 17th, BBC2.



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11 Oct 2017, 3:55 pm

This seems like it might be interesting, thank you for the heads up :D



BirdInFlight
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11 Oct 2017, 4:05 pm

You're welcome!



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12 Oct 2017, 5:09 am

Ooh, can't wait to see this. Many thanks for the info. I would have missed this otherwise! :D



BirdInFlight
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12 Oct 2017, 9:50 am

You're very welcome! I am so looking forward to seeing this. I watch all the "Watches" -- Springwatch, Autumwatch, Winterwatch, and I often wonder how CP copes with his high profile job. I'm very keen to know more about his personal journey and experiences.

Apparently it's been a while in the making -- I didn't realize others had posted about it earlier this year, I must have missed those threads while taking a break from here.



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17 Oct 2017, 9:32 am

Bumping this to remind folks to tune in -- 9pm, BBC 2, tonight Tuesday October 17th, "Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me."

I'm really pleased and excited to see a public figure (he's well known in the UK at least) on "primetime" TV talking about his experience on the autism spectrum.



Daniel89
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17 Oct 2017, 9:36 am

Having seen him interviews he comes across as completely normal will be an interesting show.



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17 Oct 2017, 10:14 am

Yes, he does come across as someone I think most people might be surprised to hear that he's on the spectrum, I agree -- but then again, little things kind of seem spectrum-like.

But it's because he does mostly seem like anyone that it's great that people will learn from this show that even very high functioning people can have a spectrum disorder.



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17 Oct 2017, 4:17 pm

I actually really enjoyed it. I expected it to be quite general. I mean, documentaries these days aren't that informative, but this wasn't bad. I really like him more now as a person, and Scratch is adorable.

I really liked his honesty with how he really felt about people and how he didn't like them, lol. I really liked that his main message was about how society should adapt more, at least for job positions, and it was clear how he felt about ABA therapy. I think ABA therapy is cruel, he seemed to have the same idea. I think when he watched those children it made him quite uncomfortable. I guess the only problem is that those children were non-verbal and it's hard to know for parents what treatment to seek (though I still wouldn't resort to forcing and overwhelming children to change who they are). Whereas in Silicon Valley obviously the autistics there are verbal.

I still have his book to read. I'm not usually interested in other peoples' stories but this programme has encouraged me to read it. I mean, I love Spring Watch, Autumn Watch etc. so that's why I was interested in Chris.



Last edited by smudge on 17 Oct 2017, 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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17 Oct 2017, 4:23 pm

Just watched it. Very interesting stuff, but I have also heard Chris talking about this on radio, particularly the story of the kestrel. The ABA programme looks like a form of torture... take kids that don't like over-stimulating and put them in an environment like that... weird.


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17 Oct 2017, 4:31 pm

Yes, I really enjoyed it too! I really liked how candid and honest he was, and we got to see a quite different Chris Packham than the one on Springwatch etc where he's very professional at all times -- in this, he was very revealing about his vulnerable side.

That ABA school was a nightmare! I was actually really uncomfortable just watching that part -- the environement was overwhelming even just seeing it on TV! I was shocked that a school full of severely affected autistic children was so packed with overstimulation, or is that, too, part of the ABA? It was nightmarish to me and I wasn't even there in person. So much noise, color, activity going on, and all the TOUCHING!! !! ! Everyone's different but when I was a kid I had meltdowns like that and the last thing I wanted was for someone to keep trying to manhandle me the way they were doing to that little girl. Even today as an adult, watching that, I was sitting here going out loud: "Stop keeping on touching her!!" There was a lot of people just keeping on touching those children and to me that would have been a huge sensory trigger.

That part made me quite angry.

I got emotional when Chris got emotional about the death of his kestrel. I also strongly relate to that kind of hanging onto big emotional events, and finding it hard to get over things and not still be affected by them. He's clearly still affected by that early loss, and I so related to that. It's almost a kind of combination of perseveration and PTSD.

There was so much I related to in Chris' experiences and outlook. I'm about the same age as him and came from the same era of being overlooked for spectrum suspicions while still struggling with it as an unnamed thing every day.

I also really liked how he and that CEO guy in the tech industry agreed how just a bit more leeway from society would go a long way to people on the spectrum having a bit more of a chance not to have to deal with quite so many challenges that put us over into areas of failure instead of succeeding in something.

That was exactly what some of us had been saying here on WP earlier today!!



smudge
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17 Oct 2017, 4:42 pm

BirdInFlight wrote:
I also really liked how he and that CEO guy in the tech industry agreed how just a bit more leeway from society would go a long way to people on the spectrum having a bit more of a chance not to have to deal with quite so many challenges that put us over into areas of failure instead of succeeding in something.

That was exactly what some of us had been saying here on WP earlier today!!


BirdInFlight, I read the rest of your message but wanted to especially focus on this part, because I think it's important. I think if anyone was to take just one thing away from this programme, then it should definitely be this. I'm really, really glad he made that point in the programme. More people should learn this.