Remarkable TV programme – Chris Packham: Asperger’s and me


Embed from Getty Images

Available on BBC iPlayer for the next 27 days is a remarkable TV programme – Chris Packham: Asperger’s and me. It’s a beautifully made film, in which Chris Packham is ‘brutally honest’ about his autism – he has Asperger’s syndrome. He welcomes the cameras into his home – deep in the New Forest where he lives with his dog, Scratchy. With the assistance of actors, Chris recalls his childhood and teenage years.

While struggling with human relationships, Chris Packham has had very intense relationship with animals. He recalls a Kestrel he kept as a boy, and the deep bond he forged with it, and how terribly upset he was when it died. He also talks movingly about the imminent end of his beloved dog. He also has an unusually heightened perception of the environment, which can sometimes overwhelm him.

The gist of the programme is shown in a visit to the United States, where Packham witnesses radical therapies to treat autism. One doctor compares such treatment to chemotherapy – a comparison which causes raised eyebrows from Chris Packham.

The conclusion appears to be that Chris Packham would not want his autism to be “cured” even if it could be. He is an exceptional example of someone who has been able to harness his Asperger’s to great effect. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of nature, no doubt drawn from thousands of hours studying books and out in the great outdoors. But he also has an exceptional ability to draw links between different things. Often on his nature programmes, he will come out with a seemingly tangential link to a different topic, which usually leads to inspired insight. These skills, no doubt, flow from his Asperger’s.

We should be very grateful that Chris Packham has allowed this glimpse into his personal life, as it is very helpful in aiding society to understand autism.

You can watch the programme for the next 21 days on BBC iPlayer here.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is currently taking a break from his role as one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in TV and film.
Advert

One Comment

  • Great programme and much admiration of how Chris has overcome his disability to become a successful presenter, amazing achievement….only disappointing part of the show I felt was when he was visiting the States and its aba schools, Chris indicated that he wasn’t in favour of such input, as autism was how or who he was, that’s fine for Chris as he is obviously a high functioning individual on the Autism spectrum, but I am a parent of a child who is not as high functioning as him, and would dearly love to be able to accept any help I can from schools like this. but unfortunately I can’t afford to pay for such intervention as it’s not free in our so called rich country…well done to Chris but let’s not overlook any help that’s out there, autism is a large spectrum of difficulties and I and many parents would warmly embrace aba help, I felt hurt that it was dismissed during the programe, as like may parents facing the struggles of autism, I would love to rid my son of its effects and difficulties.
    Des

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • Caron LindsayCaron Lindsay
    @ Simon McGrath If you genuinely want to bring people together, I think you do need to have these discussions quite sensitively. I have no issue with writing a ...
  • Peter Martin
    @ Michael BG, "I don’t see what difference an Income Tax personal allowance would have on people who don’t declare some of their income for tax." ...
  • Marco
    Shocked and angry by the attack on Salman Rushdie. I concur that legal free speech should not be censored as otherwise who gets to decide what is and isn't acce...
  • Michael BG
    Peter Davies, If everyone on Universal Credit had a work allowance this would stop most low level benefit fraud. For someone without any children I think thi...
  • Michael BG
    Joe Bourke, I expect Conference to vote on the three options and only one will be agreed. This is also the view of a member of FPC who I have contacted about...