I don’t write about TV programmes very often. I think the last time was about Grayson Perry and his series on “class”, but a big part of that was about Tunbridge Wells, which I write about quite a lot, so I’m not sure it completely counts. And it was ages ago anyway.
So anyhow, I’ve just got round to watching Chris Packham’s documentary about Asperger’s Syndrome (BBC TV – catch it on I-Player) and the impact it’s had on his life, and it was a pretty tough watch in places. It’s wonderful that Chris Packham had / has such a unique obsession and the drive and understanding to carve a career from it, but, as he observed himself, for every one like him there will be a thousand other “High Functioning” autistics who haven’t quite got what it takes to negotiate all of the tricky social complexities and realise their full potential. Or even part of it. That’s not to say that Chris Packham found it easy – the description of him making lists of the must nots he’s constantly repressing to appear “normal” was particularly informative (and familiar!) – but his special interest and intense focus did enable him to create a niche for himself that was a little more accommodating and comfortable than the round holes that most square-peg autistics find themselves forced to try to fit into. Continue reading “Asperger’s and Me: Chris Packham.”