EastEnders team up with National Autistic Society for new plot

EastEnders team up with National Autistic Society for new plot

‘EastEnders’ have teamed up with the National Autistic Society for a storyline which could result in Mick and Linda Carter’s kid Ollie Carter being autistic.
The charity "jumped at the chance" to work with the BBC One soap on the plot, which last night (11.06.19) saw Mick (Danny Dyer) and Linda (Kellie Bright) told by a doctor that the youngster was showing signs of autism.
Jane Harris, director of external affairs at the National Autistic Society, said: "We were absolutely delighted when EastEnders contacted us about this storyline.
"We jumped at the chance to be involved because we recognised that it was a fantastic opportunity to help millions of viewers understand more about the autism assessment process and what families go through in order to get a diagnosis.
"There are over 700,000 autistic people in the UK and most people know someone who is autistic, whether it’s a friend, classmate, colleague or family member.
"Yet only 16 per cent of autistic people and their families feel the public understand autism and half of autistic people sometimes don’t leave the house because they’re afraid the public won’t understand them.
"So it’s hugely encouraging to see more TV dramas representing storylines about autism in their work."
Jon Sen, EastEnders’ executive producer, revealed Mick and Linda will face "various challenges" as they look for ways to help Ollie.
He said: "’EastEnders’ has a history of doing ground-breaking stories that resonate with the nation.
"When Mick and Linda start to worry about Ollie’s behaviour, they face various challenges as they search for the answers necessary to help their son.
"’EastEnders’ has been privileged to work closely with the National Autistic Society to accurately depict the pressure and struggles that can be felt by parents as they begin this journey."
This comes after Talia Grant became the first female actress who is autistic to land a mainstream role on British TV after joining the cast of Channel 4 soap ‘Hollyoaks’ – as teenager Brooke Hathaway, who also has autism – last summer.