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Beyond the Spectrum

When their two-year-old son Oskar is diagnosed with autism, this busy family of seven drops everything for a year to focus on his therapy. In their surprising journey of discovery, they confront a critical question: What does unconditional love really mean?

“This film is sure to touch your heart as you travel with this family on their emotional journey in wanting the best for their autistic son Oskar.”
- Laurie Mawlam
Executive Director, Autism Canada

When their two-year-old son, Oskar, is diagnosed with severe autism, Carly and Stef drop everything for a year to focus on his treatment. Inspired by their success improving older son Teddy’s autism diagnosis, Carly and Stef are optimistic about Oskar’s therapy. But Oskar proves to be very different from his brother and progress is slow and uncertain. With every setback, the film delves deeper into the mystery that is Oskar. Carly and Stef are forced to juggle Oskar’s many treatments and therapies in addition to caring for their four other children. They find themselves tested in ways they never expected as they try to understand Oskar’s perspective, forcing them to rethink their understanding of autism.
As they strive to connect with Oskar, they must confront an impossible question: should they try to change him or accept their son just the way he is?
This story of how one family is changed by the experience of caring for a child with Autism is, more than anything, a love story with a cause. Oskar’s family bravely invite us into their home in order to help expand our understanding of what it means to be a ‘normal’ family.
Several adults with autism, including Temple Grandin, share their personal experiences and help us gain insight into Oskar’s world.

The M.A.P. – My Autism Passport app is a free mobile interactive tool to help parents plan, journal, and navigate their child’s developmental treatment journey after they have received an autism diagnosis. Created in partnership with St. Michael’s Hospital, the app will also be used to support ongoing research to better improve access to care.

Merit Motion Pictures

Founded 25 years ago by industry veteran Merit Jensen Carr, Merit Motion Pictures (MMP) leads the field in multi-platform, factual entertainment in Canada. A sought-after co-producer on the national and international scene, our productions have won critical acclaim abroad and achieved among the highest audience ratings in Canada. A regular and valued co-producer for CBC’s human interest and science/nature documentary strands, Doc Zone and The Nature of Things, Merit Motion Pictures is renowned for its seasoned production team, world-class crews, convivial atmosphere and access to the best tax credit programs in Canada. The company has collaborated with broadcasters as diverse as ZDF/ARTE, CBC, CTV, Shaw, National Geographic International, PBS, The Science Channel and Super Channel.

Project Details

Release Date October 18, 2017
Content Component(s) Application, TV One-Off
Episode(s) 1 x 54 mins : 1 x 86 mins
Genre(s) Documentary
Language(s) English
Target Audience(s) Adults
Health & Wellness Subject Area(s) Family Life, Mental Health
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