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Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me

Chris Packham invites us inside his autistic world to try to show what it is like being him. Chris explores the question of whether Asperger's has helped make him who he is today.

For most of his life, broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham didn't tell anyone about the one thing that in many ways has defined his entire existence. Chris is autistic - he has Asperger's Syndrome, which means he struggles in social situations, has difficulty with human relationships and is, by his own admission, 'a little bit weird'. But what if there was a way of taking away these autistic traits? Would Chris ever choose to be 'normal'?

In this film, Chris invites us inside his autistic world to try to show what it is really like being him. He lives alone in the woods with his 'best friend' Scratchy the dog, but he also has a long-term partner, Charlotte, who discusses the problems Asperger's creates in their relationship - she describes Chris as being sometimes 'like an alien'. Chris experiences the world in a very different way, with heightened senses that at times are overwhelming, and a mind that is constant bouncing from one subject to the next.

Growing up at a time when little was known about autism, Chris wasn't diagnosed with Asperger's until he was in his forties. With scientific advances offering new possibilities to treat his condition, Chris travels to America to witness radical therapies that appear to offer the possibility of entirely eradicating problematic autistic traits, but he also meets those who are challenging the idea that autistic people need to change in order to fit into society. Confronting this deeply personal subject with brutal honesty, and reflecting on the devastating struggles of his adolescence, Chris explores the question of whether he would ever want to be cured himself or whether, ultimately, Asperger's has helped make him who he is today.

59 minutes

Last on

Fri 17 Nov 2017 00:15

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Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Chris Packham
Participant Joshua White
Participant Joshua Cramer
Participant Ed Statham
Executive Producer Tom Barry
Director Charlie Russell
Editor Will Grayburn
Producer Lizzie Kempton
Production Company Raw TV

Broadcasts