Former Love Island star - I was first disabled contestant

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ASPartOfMe
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01 Jul 2021, 8:35 am

Former Love Island star hits back at claims this series features 'first' disabled contestant

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Niall Aslam, who suffers from autism spectrum disorder, appeared on the ITV2 dating show in 2018 but had to leave the villa just nine days after he entered a stress-induced psychotic episode when he wasn't given the help he was promised to manage his disability

The 26-year-old took to TikTok this week to remind viewers that despite media reports to the contrary, Hugo Hammond is not the first contestant with a disability but simply the first with a physical disability.

Posting a video to his 75.4k followers, Niall took issue with the media attention surrounding the PE teacher being the supposed first contestant with a disability due to being born with a club foot, revealing: "But autism is a disability and I ended up hospitalised".

Tagging the post #autismawareness, Niall wrote in the caption: "I support Hammond, he is the first with a physical disability but can we stop covering me up lol".

Niall recently opened up The Mirror about the challenges he faced while on the show, revealing that he felt as if his autism was not recognised as a disability by ITV2 bosses.

He alleged that despite telling producers that certain things, such as being given plain food at mealtimes and hearing his favourite music, would help manage his stress levels, these were not prioritised.

He will probably come off to readers as selfish but an important point was brought up. When your disability is not physical it is often not recognized. Probably every one of us has been affected in multiple ways. While I have been talking about this issue since I became a member here it was not until I became physically disabled myself did I realize the extent of the issue. People are holding doors for me, asking if I am alright, asking me if I need anything, speaking to me in a kind tone not the usual New York bruskness. Especially at first it was so weird. I am sure plenty of my responses to these acts of kindness were not what they expected(LOL)


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Fnord
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01 Jul 2021, 8:48 am

Those shows thrive on drama -- most of which seems excessively contrived.  It would not surprise me to find out the producers intended to trigger Mr. Aslam into an autistic meltdown so as to show some genuine drama for once.


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carlos55
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02 Jul 2021, 7:28 am

Fnord wrote:
Those shows thrive on drama -- most of which seems excessively contrived.  It would not surprise me to find out the producers intended to trigger Mr. Aslam into an autistic meltdown so as to show some genuine drama for once.


While I can believe that at the same time I don’t think it needed much help to send him on a breakdown.

I couldn’t think of a worse place for an autistic person 24/7 in your face social contact with no personal space. What was he thinking going on there? Did tv bosses know if they did what were they thinking allowing this.



Fnord
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02 Jul 2021, 8:37 am

carlos55 wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Those shows thrive on drama -- most of which seems excessively contrived.  It would not surprise me to find out the producers intended to trigger Mr. Aslam into an autistic meltdown so as to show some genuine drama for once.
While I can believe that at the same time I don’t think it needed much help to send him on a breakdown.  I couldn’t think of a worse place for an autistic person 24/7 in your face social contact with no personal space.  What was he thinking going on there? Did tv bosses know if they did what were they thinking allowing this.
All the more reason to suspect that the producers were hoping for some drama that was both genuine and easy to provoke.  Why hire a professional actor to simulate a dramatic meltdown when you can just hire someone who is already prone to meltdowns and then try to trigger that person into having one?


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cyberdad
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02 Jul 2021, 11:43 pm

Fnord wrote:
It would not surprise me to find out the producers intended to trigger Mr. Aslam into an autistic meltdown so as to show some genuine drama for once.


There's some truth to this. Contestants in reality shows like "Big Brother" are screened so knowing their weaknesses are then regularly tested via engineered activities to make them lose their cool on screen for boosting ratings.

I have even seen this on reality cooking shows where the drama often overrides the food,



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04 Jul 2021, 3:46 pm

When I read the title of this thread, I thought, "ASPartOfMe was on Love Island? really?"

LOL - couldn't quite picture it!


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ASPartOfMe
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25 Aug 2021, 8:15 am

Love Island contestant Niall Aslam who suffered stress-induced psychosis slams focus on ratings

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A Love Island contestant who was hospitalised with stress-induced psychosis has called on producers to demonstrate a greater “moral responsibility” for the welfare of participants.

Speaking at an Edinburgh TV Festival debate on reality TV, Niall Aslam said the “duty of care” requirements on reality shows were often delegated to young staff with “media degrees” who just “brush it off” when a problem arises.

Aslam, who has autism, left after just seven days participation in the 2018 version of the ITV2 dating show. He said he had been deprived of food and sleep during his time in the villa.

Now an ambassador for the National Autistic Society, Aslam spent two weeks in a psychiatric hospital after quitting the show.

Aslam told TV an audience of producers: “You have a moral responsibility for someone’s well-being. Everyone’s sole focus on the programme is entertainment and ratings.”

“But when you’re casting someone with autism you have to take a step back and look at the human element.”

Dr Howard Fine, a consultant Clinical Psychologist who advises reality shows on their duty of care, said producers should ask themselves “if this was your sister, aunt or grandmother, would you want them to be faced with this project?” before casting contestants.

Dr Fine said contestants are “infantilised” in reality shows because control over what they eat, when they sleep and what conversations they have are handed over to producers.

Risk assessment of participants by professionals beforehand was vital because: “None of us ever wants to be in a position where we’re faced with a Coroner’s Court. That means we’ve got it wrong.”

Fashion buyer administrator Millie Court, 24, and Liam Reardon, a 22-year-old bricklayer, were crowned the winners of the latest Love Island series on Monday nigh


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Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity.

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman