David Tennant has presented a short video for Children In Need telling the story of Nathan, who has Asperger Syndrome.
Asperger Syndrome is a type of autistic spectrum disorder; a lifelong developmental condition that can cause difficulties in relating to other people. People with Asperger Syndrome find it difficult to decode the non-verbal social cues such as facial expression and body language that we take for granted, making interactions with others a stressful guessing game as they try to work out what other people are thinking or going to do. They can also find it difficult to understand some of the subtler meanings of spoken language, such as jokes and similes. Because they find social rules difficult, making and keeping friendships can be almost impossible for some, and even engaging in everyday conversations can be difficult if you do not understand the unwritten rules of such interactions, such as turn-taking and how to start and finish conversations. People with Asperger syndrome can also find it difficult to deal with changes to established routines and with new experiences, and may also have associated conditions such as dyspraxia, dyslexia and ADHD.
Nathan struggled with the condition but found support through the Greater Manchester organisation ASGMA, and as a result he has increased his confidence, made friends and started to engage in college life. Watch the video here:
For more information about Children In Need and the projects that they support visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/pudsey/
David Tennant will shortly be playing the parent of a child with Asperger syndrome in the new drama The Politician’s Husband, currently filming for broadcast on BBC2 next year. Noah, played by Oscar Kennedy, the son of MPs Aiden Hoynes (David Tennant) and Freya Gardner (Emily Watson) has the condition.