When their two-year-old son, Oskar, is diagnosed with severe autism, Carly and Stef quit work and devote all their resources for one year to focus on his treatment. Leaping off their early success using diet and a variety of therapies on their older son, Teddy, the possibility of starting an early intense program with Oskar seems bound for success.
Oskar’s family bravely invite us into their home for an achingly honest, intimate look at their very personal challenges and to broaden our understanding of what it means to be a ‘normal’ family. As Carly and Stef juggle their busy family life, Oskar's many therapies, and care for their four other children, with every set-back they are forced to rethink their understanding of autism and understand Oskar’s perspective.
With the help of autism specialists and scientists such as Jackie McMillan (Thrive with Autism), Elizabeth J. Bell (Occupational Therapist) and Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe (Associate Professor, University of Guelph), Carly and Stef explore options for supporting Oskar. We also meet several adults with autism, including Dr. Temple Grandin, who share their personal experiences and help us gain insight into Oskar's world.
But Oskar proves to be very different from his brother and progress is slow and uncertain. The whole family is tested in ways they never expected, and they are forced to rethink everything. As the family strives to connect with Oskar, they confront a fundamental question: should they try to change him or accept him just the way he is? Directed by Steve Suderman, Beyond the Spectrum is a compelling family portrait, offering an honest exploration of neurodiversity.
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CBC Version - 58 mins
Feature/DVD - 86 mins
Here you will find the Beyond the Spectrum press kit.
Temple Grandin is a well-known author and speaker. As an adult living with autism, Temple has acted as a mentor and a voice for many within the autism community. She has also been a pioneer in improving the handling and welfare of farm animals. Temple has appeared on numerous TV shows such as 20/20, Larry King Live, and Prime Time. Her books include: Thinking in Pictures, Livestock Handling and Transport and The Autistic Brain. Her book Animals in Translation has been on the New York Times Bestseller List.
Research in Prof. Emma Allen-Vercoe's lab focuses on the study of the normal human gut microbiota, both in disease and in health. She has developed a specific platform for the study of whole microbial ecosystems, dubbed ‘Robogut’ to examine ecosystem function and output in unprecedented detail. Current projects include the study of the gut microbiota in neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis, Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) infection, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel diseases.
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