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Gordon's important position as the engine who usually pulls the Express has made him proud, pompous and arrogant, with good reason, too; he is the strongest engine on Sodor.
Because of his rank in the social order of the North Western Railway, Gordon expects to get the important jobs and either sulks when he does not, or gets jealous of those who do. Sometimes Gordon shows a kinder side and gives the younger engines advice, usually after he has had some mishap as a result of his foolhardiness. How Thomas the Tank Engine puts autistic children on right trackby FIONA MACRAELast updated at 07:30 25 July 2007You may have thought Thomas the Tank Engine was just a simple children's character. Jane Gillham, 37, from Eltham, South East London, whose 10-year-old son Jack is autistic, said: 'He loved Thomas the Tank Engine from a very early age. Donald and Douglas (now 9 and 10 respectively) realise they only have numbers painted on their tenders. This episode was based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, The Twin Engines.

In an interview with David Mitton released on SiF shortly before his death in 2008, he confirmed that the episode was in production and half way through filming when Britt Allcroft decided that it would be too difficult for young children to understand.
Gordon's philosophy "tender engines don't shunt" meant that he looked down on tank engines and tender engines who do shunt, but after being locked in the shed with Henry and James after going on strike he seems to have abandoned this philosophy. Sometimes, Gordon acts as a bully, particularly towards Edward, but following misadventures where Edward had to help him, Gordon had to acknowledge that despite being old, Edward is still a very useful engine. Some of his advice is not exactly honest, though, as James and Sir Handel have discovered. One afternoon, Douglas is shunting in the yard and worries about being sent away, unfortunately forgetting to shunt Thomas' Special Coach.
However, the first season episode, Down the Mine was originally planned to be the series pilot, but was reshot and pushed back to later in the season. The little blue engine, created in 1945 by clergymen Wilbert Awdry to entertain his sick son, has been found to help the learning process in autistic children.
The twins decide to swap tenders so as to convince the Fat Controller that Donald has taken his goods train, but he isn't fooled and reprimands Douglas severely.

It is assumed that Donald and Douglas swapping tenders to fool the Fat Controller is what would have made the plot hard to comprehend for young children.
His large eyes and expressive face are credited with helping victims, who often find it hard to read people's faces, to distinguish between different emotions.
David also mentioned that he was in possession of all the original footage filmed for this episode.
A very small image of the twins confronting Gordon and Henry at the sheds can be seen in a Japanese book. Books, comic strips and films featuring Thomas and his various friends also help youngsters learn about colours, numbers and words, a survey by the National Autistic Society found.
Parents of autistic children said the combination of clear facial expressions and simple storylines have helped their children make remarkable progress.

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