Open Door is a community-based TV series where groups or individuals make a documentary about an issue that concerns them. This episode on Autism features interviews with parents of young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The parents talk about how their children were diagnosed, how best to help them, how to be fair to their siblings, working with the school system, and dealing with public attitudes to Autism. There are currently around 40,000 New Zealanders diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Virginie Le Brun began her screen career with six years as a presenter on music channel Juice TV, before moving to What Now?. From 2008 she did two year-long stints on Shortland Street, as doctor Gabrielle Jacobs. Her portrayal of the head of surgery who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome won praise from the show’s fans, and organisation Autism New Zealand. Le Brun is daughter of winemakers Adele and Daniel Le Brun.
Raymond Thompson, MNZM, has created and supervised a run of television shows since setting up base in New Zealand in the mid 90s. Longtime head of production company Cloud 9, he first began selling scripts in his native England. Thompson's series The Tribe, set in a world without adults, became a cult international hit, running for five seasons plus a sequel. His shows have sold to more than 130 countries.