The A Word - Episode Guide

Season 1

Diagnosis

Episode: 1x01 | Airdate: Mar 22, 2016

Diagnosis

In their idyllic Lake District home, the extended Hughes family reunites for Joe's fifth birthday party. But tensions soon rise among Alison, Paul and patriarch Maurice when newly-arrived Eddie and Nicola suggest Joe has communication problems.

Home School

Episode: 1x02 | Airdate: Mar 29, 2016

Home School

Following Joe's diagnosis, Alison is keen to protect her son. Not wanting the community to know about his autism, she takes Joe out of school without telling Paul.

Therapy

Episode: 1x03 | Airdate: Apr 5, 2016

Therapy

Alison gets a blast from her past when speech and language therapist Maggie arrives to assess Joe. For the family, it is time to face some uncomfortable truths.

Sleepover

Episode: 1x04 | Airdate: Apr 12, 2016

Sleepover

An impromptu attempt to win Joe some friends leads to a breakthrough moment for Alison, but how long can it last? Maurice and Louise come to blows over Joe, while Rebecca turns to Eddie for relationship advice.

Goodbye

Episode: 1x05 | Airdate: Apr 19, 2016

Goodbye

The family suffers a blow when police reveal that their ‘Polish' helper Maya is in fact Ukrainian, and is living and working illegally in the UK. As Maya faces deportation, it's a double loss for Alison: Maya's presence makes her panic less, and she's one of the few people Joe has really bonded with.

Lost

Episode: 1x06 | Airdate: Apr 26, 2016

Lost

It's the launch day of Paul's gastropub, and the family gathers to open its doors. While Maurice gets to grips with the half-done décor, Alison determines to reconcile with Paul. As Luke's romantic gesture falls flat with Rebecca, Nicola has some shock news for Eddie.

Seeing Joe is in the way, Maurice takes him on a visit to Louise's – but within minutes the day has taken an unexpected dark turn.

Can the family join forces with the community to ensure the safety of its youngest member? And where will the crisis leave each of them as the day draws to a close...?

Season 2

Naming Day

Episode: 2x01 | Airdate: Nov 7, 2017

Naming Day

Two years on, in the idyllic landscape of the Lake District, seven-year-old Joe is growing up and changing. He has started to notice he is different from other kids, and when he says the word 'autistic' out loud, seeing it as something bad, Alison and Paul know they must talk to their son. But how do they broach the subject with a child for whom language is already a struggle? Also growing up is Joe's sister, Rebecca. Now 19, she has been travelling round Africa on a gap year and crashes back into the family home with a backpack, a tattoo and a boyfriend. Two years after splitting from Nicola, Eddie is the one that got away. He has a new life in Manchester, but he can't quite shake the old Eddie off, not least because Nicola keeps dragging him back to the Lakes. Having never told her parents that she and Eddie are divorced, Nicola is horrified when they turn up for a surprise visit. Maurice is feeling awkward too when he finds himself on old flame Louise's doorstep.

Get Away

Episode: 2x02 | Airdate: Nov 14, 2017

Get Away

As Joe starts at a specialist school in Manchester, how will Paul and Alison cope with the challenge of living apart during the school week?

Louise confides in Maurice and shocks him with a confession, while Eddie goes on a boys' night out with Nicola's dad.

Are We Still Here?

Episode: 2x03 | Airdate: Nov 21, 2017

Are We Still Here?

With Paul and Alison living increasingly separate lives between the Lakes and Manchester, Paul makes an unexpected connection with Mark's mum, Sophie.

Meanwhile Louise and Maurice come to blows as she starts her treatment.

Falling

Episode: 2x04 | Airdate: Nov 28, 2017

Falling

Paul and Alison attempt to reconnect, and Maurice has a crisis during a fell race. Spending more and more time back at home with Nicola, Eddie tries to teach Joe to ride a bike.

Family Album

Episode: 2x05 | Airdate: Dec 5, 2017

Family Album

Paul's feelings about Joe's autism emerge when Nicola makes a ‘film' of his son's behaviours - causing Paul and Alison to confront some difficult truths. Meanwhile, Maurice makes a shocking proposal.

Same Deep Water

Episode: 2x06 | Airdate: Dec 12, 2017

Same Deep Water

An End Of Year Show at Joe's old school brings his whole family together. But can they remain the family he knows?