The A Word

The A Word is a BBC drama television series based on Yellow Peppers by Keren Margalit. The A Word

The series follows a 5-year-old boy and how his dysfunctional family cope with the revelation that he has autism.

Following filming in the Lake District from October 2015, a six part series began airing on 22 March 2016.


Five year old Joe displays clear signs of a communication problems and consistently isolates himself by playing rock music,

mostly to himself, through large blue headphones.

He has encyclopedic knowledge of the songs he listens to and accurately sings along with the lyrics.

His Mum and Dad; Alison and Paul, seem oblivious to the disorder and wonder why their child is ostracised by other children of the same age.

However it is later discovered by Maurice that Joe’s parents have been taking him to hospital for his communication problems.

Other family members know there is a problem however their attempts to intervene are met with contempt from Joe’s parents.

After originally believing Joe had hearing problems, their otolaryngologist refers Joe to a specialist who diagnoses Joe with autism.

The story then follows how the dysfunctional family, including Rebecca (who feels invisible),

Eddie and Nicola (who are coping with their own relationship problems),

and tactless granddad Maurice, cope with Joe’s situation and their own apparent social disorders.