The A Word



Joe HughesPlayed by Max Vento

Charming and funny, Joe is a boy who makes eye contact, doesn't seem unhappy or distressed, has a love of music but is on the autistic spectrum nevertheless. He has significant problems processing and expressing emotion, has difficulties expressing and understanding language, and uses his vast knowledge of pop music as a way of appearing social while successfully keeping the world at bay.

Joe has created his own self-contained idyll in this most idyllic of landscapes, but now school has started, and his parents have got a diagnosis and all that begins to change. How do you respond to attempts to change you when change is the thing you fear the most? The series follows Joe's resistance and his response to those who demand things from him he cannot give. His autism is his mystery, a puzzle to be solved but a puzzle that doesn't want solving. And his manner of dealing with the family around him and their ever-changing demands provides us with a dramatic journey that is emotional, funny and real.