The Life of Reilly Film

I was in a meeting this week to talk about turning The Life of Reilly into a screenplay.  At first it sounds impossible but the more I learn and investigate the more I think there is a really good chance of it becoming a reality.

I had no idea how much money would be required or what it would entail.  My good friend Steve who plays Ged Reilly’s Dad in the play has a Act2Cam film school and is well connected in the industry and Alison Stanley who wrote The Life of Reilly play already has the film mapped out in her mind and in her notebook.

To dangle the carrot to distributors etc there must be a 10 minute high quality pilot professionally made.  This involves bringing in scriptwriters, a producer, a director and casting.  The scene used for the pilot will most likely be the explosive showdown between Reilly’s Mam and the local council about school transport.  We’ve all been there and can relate. I think, not that i’m an expert, that it will in a snapshot capture the everyday stresses we face.  Handing you most precious belonging over to a complete stranger, trusting them to care for your child and your child not able to relate to you whether they like this person, whether they feel safe or threatened with them is the hardest thing i’ve had to do.

I wish people knew how we truly live.  A minefield of marital disagreements bore from stress over money and time misspent, from a cocktail of sleep deprivation and anxiety, from a fear for their future that gathers a permanent black cloud of uncertainty.  The battles we have, the books we must read, the dossiers of papers we amass hi-lighting every single thing your child is ‘failing’ at to reach an unnecessary milestone to achieve a vital tick in a box to notch up the score on the SEN school lottery.  All this when all we want to do is celebrate their achievements no matter how small.  All this just to get our children to the school and the education they have every right to.

People leave the play touched by what they have seen.  It changes their perspective about autism family dynamics and I like to hope that their new found realisations are shared with friends, families and acquaintances drumming down judgement from the lookers on.   A film on TV could do so much.  NT actors working alongside autistic actors and consultants is a dream. No flowering it up just telling it like it is in all its glorious sometimes heartbreaking detail.

Please if you can support this project, click the link below.  I trust the professionals who are already lining up to do  this pilot and hopefully full length film the justice and the air time it deserves.

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-life-of-reilly-film-pilot-1
https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FBBCLN%2Fvideos%2F1538043862943362%2F&show_text=0&width=476

My Sons not Rainman

I came across this book while browsing twitter one night while lying in bed worrying about the future as you do, well I do.  I sometimes lie for hours scrolling through #autistic #autism #meltdowns making myself feel better with other peoples frustrations or jubilations.

I liked the title immediately.  If you have an autistic child you will be familiar with the fact that a lot of people expect your child to have a remarkable magic talent.  “What’s his thing?” “I bet he’s good with numbers” are the common ones.

Not all autistic people are Savant’s. Savant’s are people who have incredible abilities usually falling into a few different categories to name a few:

Musical abilities – being able to playback perfectly a piece of music after hearing it only once.

Artistic abilities – Stephen Wiltshire a prime example his ability to remember skylines and reproduce them in drawings is breathtaking.

Calendar Calculation – being able to produce the day of a week a date falls on thousands of years away.

Memory – Reilly has an awesome memory and shocked us all when he started to google  bus registration numbers and we realised they were actual buses he had been on or seen weeks even months before – but I don’t think he’s Raymond Babbitt. If he is I’ll meet you at Aspers!

The book written by comedian John Williams really struck a chord with me.  I related to everything he said but its so funny too.  My favourite part is his disability top trumps and that SEN parents can be arseholes too.  I don’t want to spoil it for you.  But I am guilty as charged – If your child had 4 hours sleep mine had 3.  I also lol’d at the school shoes and too short tracksuit bottoms I see this week in, week out.

It’s honest, it’s sad and its thoroughly enjoyable.  ‘The Boy’ as he is loving referred to has an amazing relationship with his father despite the many challenges they face over relationships, schools, behaviour, disability etc.

You can click on the link below for more information.  Myself and my Mam read this book on holiday and now my husband is half way through and loving it and sometimes not loving the stark similarities in our lives.  I thoroughly recommend it.