TV and the Tragedy Model – Part 2

Further to my first post on this subject at it appears that Action for Children have ran a second advert much to the chagrin of my buddies in the neuro diverse community who have started to complain about the ad through 

The great thing about this facebook group is it points to why and how you could complain to the Advertising Standards Authority and also gives a link to the same.

I was very interested to read about the concerns as i had seen the advert in question on a number of occassions and it looked ok to me. the story runs; Dan is an autistic child who has problems which he demonstrates through monstrous behaviour. Action for Children helped him along by sending him to special school where his needs could be addressed and he came out of school with respect for everyone especially his carers. So, on the one hand a nice little story about survival.

On the other hand, autistic children are monsters, special school is good and carers are super (not necessarily our experieince within the disability movement). The monster bit seems to have got right up people’s noses. There’s also a section where DAN faces down bullies and this is seen as a problem too which campaigners feel is a real contrary message – that we should let the bullies get away with it when they call us names, poke fun at our impairments, etc.

I feel i must keep on referring you to the facebook group here. people with the impairment tell their own stories better than i do but i would be keen to support them with the letter of complaint.



  1. Action for Children has made another ad that parents with MS find almost as horrifying: I haven’t seen it (I’m in the US, so they don’t have those ads here), but apparently it features a young girl who has to take care of her Mom because her Mom has MS. And Action for Children helps her. Parents are incensed because it implies that children automatically become carers for disabled parents (when they don’t, or shouldn’t have to).

    The Facebook group focused on the MS parent ad is at

    I suggest that the campaigns against both ads (the autism ad and the MS parent ad) would be more effective if they were to work in tandem. I also suggest that letters should focus NOT ONLY on removing the two offensive ads but ALSO on urging Action for Children to consult more closely with disability groups in the future for ALL relevant ads.

  2. detrich said

    Good point well made
    Facebook know have two groups that start with “lets stop action for demonising”…… one ends with austistic children, the other disabled parents.
    Clearly there is a lot of upset about these ads.
    The size of the autistic children one itself proves that.
    I just hope they are watching each other and can find a way to link up.

  3. Marisha Bonar said

    It is in my belief, that due to the pressure of so many Disabled Individuals as well as Groups-ie: Facebook: “Let’s stop Action for Children demonising Autistic Children”,-, “Dan”’s offensive ad is been last showed today, Sunday 08 February. So, removed one week earlier than they did shedule at first……
    Now comes the battle-which have already started in Facebook: “Let’s stop Action for Children demonising Disabled Parents”- to hopefuly remove the offensive “Nicola’s Story”ad as well…..

    I’m supporting these Groups,wish to continue fighting against these ads- as a Disabled Individual myself- and hope that the outrage caused by these ads will have the outcome it deserves: The total removal of any present and future offensive ads from Action for Children or/and any other Charity…..

    Marisha Bonar

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