Does Travis Smith have autism in real life? The A Word Mark
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Does Travis Smith have autism in real life? Actor plays Mark Berwick in The A Word

Travis joined The A Word cast in series two

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Travis Smith has reprised his role in The A Word as Mark Berwick.

He plays Sophie’s autistic teenage son who has suddenly developed a desire to join the army.

Although the talented 19-year-old actor does an incredible job of portraying Mark and his condition, does Travis Smith have autism in real life?

Here’s everything you need to know…

Does Travis Smith have autism in real life? The A Word Mark
Travis Smith plays Mark Berwick in The A Word (Credit: BBC)

Does Travis Smith have autism?

Travis was diagnosed with both autism and Asperger’s syndrome while he was in year five at primary school.

“Luckily, my mum worked with autistic people and so recognised it early, when I was about three or four,” he said.

READ MORE: Does Max Vento have autism in real life? The A Word star plays Joe

“I received a formal diagnosis at nine or ten, even though we knew for years.”

Why did Paul and Alison split in The A Word (Credit: BBC)
Travis has said he identifies more with Joe’s character than Mark (Credit: BBC)

During his school years, he suffered with terrible anxiety and would regularly suffer from panic attacks.

He was misunderstood by his teachers and seen as “naughty” which made his challenges even tougher.

READ MORE: Will there be another series of The A Word and how does season 3 end?

Sadly, this meant he regularly missed school.

But Travis always had a passion for acting and attending youth theatre groups.

Does Travis Smith have autism in real life? The A Word Mark
Travis joined the cast of The A Word in series two (Credit: BBC)

How did Travis Smith get his part in The A Word?

Travis’ mum came across an advert for the part of Mark while reading a newspaper by chance.

It said the BBC were looking for autistic actors to come for auditions.

READ MORE: The A Word series 2 RECAP – here’s what happened last season

Although he loved acting, Travis didn’t jump at the idea because of his anxiety.

However, after some gentle encouragement from his mum, he decided to give it a go.

The A Word series 2 recap
Fans have also questioned if Joe actor Max Vento has autism in real life (Credit: BBC)

“[My mum] is part of lots of parent groups,” Travis explained.

“I didn’t think I would have a chance. I applied online and they called me to London for an audition.”

The rising star then drove down to the Big Smoke where he auditioned for Susan Tully, who directs The A Word, the show’s casting director Andy Prior and producer Jenny Frayn.

“I was shortlisted a while after and got a call on a Saturday morning – I didn’t believe my mum at first,” he added.

Fast forward a few weeks and Travis found himself on set with Lee Ingleby and Morven Christie in the Lake District playing Mark in series two of The A Word.

Does Max Vento have autism in real life? The A Word (Credit: BBC)
Mark wants to take Joe out for the day in The A Word (Credit: BBC)

What has Travis Smith said about The A Word?

Travis has been full of praise for the portrayal of autism in The A Word.

During an interview with the BBC, he explained that the condition is often misunderstood.

He said: “The first thing that normally comes to mind when media, TV and film represent autism is Rain Man. There’s always been this stereotyping and lack of understanding.

READ MORE: Who is Ben Chambers in The A Word? Here’s why Alison’s new love interest may look familiar

“Autism is everywhere and it’s important for a television show to show the public we’re not all just Rain Man. I’m terrible with maths! Acting is my thing.”

While filming the second series of The A Word, Travis played on his own past experiences when acting out Mark’s meltdown.

A meltdown can be triggered by anxiety or over-stimulation in people with autism.

Does Travis Smith have autism in real life? The A Word Mark
Mark is Sophie’s son in The A Word (Credit: BBC)

Behaviours can include crying, shouting and even self-harm.

“I cried in my hotel room after and not just because I whacked my knuckles but because it was such a crazy thing to act out what I used to be like,” Travis added.

“But I have to praise The A Word because they weren’t afraid to show how effective meltdowns can be.”

READ MORE: The A Word: Julie Hesmondhalgh delights fans as Joe’s teacher Heather

Although Travis plays Mark in the show, he has admitted that he realties more to the character Joe.

“Despite Mark being what I was like a few years ago, Joe resonates most,” he explained.

“Listening to music, needing a schedule. And Max, who plays Joe is exceptional.”

Alison in The A Word Will there be another series of The A Word and how does season 3 end?
Alison faces some bad news in The A Word series 3 finale (Credit: BBC)

What happens in The A Word series 3 finale?

The A Word series 3 will come to an end tonight (June 9).

In the finale episode, Rebecca (Molly Wright) visits Joe (Max Vento) at his school in Manchester.

READ MORE: Why did Paul and Alison split up in The A Word? 

Up until now, she had been struggling with anxieties that her unborn child could have autism like Joe.

But after spending time with her little brother and his classmates, she feels better.

Will there be another series of The A Word?
Both Paul and Alison face disappointing news (Credit: BBC)

But drama strikes when Rebecca and Joe drive home to the Lakes.

While driving down a remote country lane, Rebecca unexpectedly goes into early labour.

Making matters even worse, her phone battery is dead.

READ MORE: Who is Ben Chambers in The A Word? Here’s why Alison’s new love interest may look familiar

Due to his autism, Joe becomes frightened when Rebecca starts screaming in pain.

Will the baby be okay?

Meanwhile, Ben (David Gyasi) asks Alison (Morven Christie) to join him for lunch to talk about their relationship.

Unfortunately for Alison, he doesn’t have good news.

Back at the Lakes, Sarah (Gemma Paige North) also has disappointing news for Paul (Lee Ingleby).

Read More: WIN £1,000 in our ‘Grab a Grand’ competition!

Fortunately, not everyone’s love life is going quite so badly.

After tying the knot last week, Katie ( Sarah Gordy) and Ralph (Leon Harrop) move in together – leaving Louise (Pooky Quesnel) struggling with empty nest syndrome.

READ MORE: Does Travis Smith have autism in real life? Actor plays Mark Berwick in The A Word

Maurice tries to put a smile back on her face with a grand gesture but is Louise ready to take the next step?

You can catch up on The A Word series three on BBC iPlayer.

Have you been watching The A Word? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think of the new series.

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