Autism Society Canada, the number of school children with autism spectrum disorder has risen
dramatically in recent years. On Sunday November 18 starting at 8 pm, TVO presents a special TV-
web event on autism to help Ontarians gain deeper insight into a condition that affects about 1 in
every 450 Canadians.
The evening begins with an in-depth documentary on the history of the condition and the latest
research. Next up is a feature-length drama based on a true story of a couple's challenges trying to
find help for their autistic child. And immediately following the film, viewers can join a discussion with
autism experts on Your Voice, both on air and online at tvoparents.com.
The Autism Puzzle – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
8 pm on TVO
In The Autism Puzzle at 8 pm, filmmaker Saskia Baron brings personal insight to this historical
examination of autism. Baron's older brother Timothy was one of the first kids in Britain to be
diagnosed with the condition in 1961, a time when autism was largely misunderstood by doctors and
the general public. The film asks, Is there an epidemic of autism today, or has there been a change in
awareness and the definition of autism in the 60 years since the term was first coined? Is there any
connection to the infant vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella? The documentary also looks at
current research into cause, treatment and prevalence, and explores the latest experimental research
into the autistic brain in Finland, England and America.
After Thomas – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
9 pm on TVO
Following at 9 pm is the feature-length drama, After Thomas. Inspired by a true story, this moving film
depicts the struggles of a couple to care for and communicate with their autistic child. Keeley Hawes
and Ben Miles play the parents of six-year-old Kyle (Andrew Byrne), who can't communicate his fears.
His mother Nicola has given up everything to care for her only child, and her fierce determination to
break into Kyle's isolated world places an intolerable strain on her marriage. Into this setting comes
Thomas, a golden retriever who opens the door to possibilities the family could have never imagined.
Your Voice autism webcast discussion
Live at approximately 10:30 pm at tvoparents.com and on TVO
Rounding out the evening live at approximately 10:30 pm, Your Voice, TVO’s interactive parenting
series at tvoparents.com, is online and on air with a special edition on autism. Host Cheryl Jackson
- Wendy Roberts, a developmental pediatrician specializing in the treatment of autism at the Hospital
for Sick Children in Toronto
- Suzanne Lanthier, mother of an autistic child and spokesperson for Autism Speaks, an advocacy
group that focuses on awareness and fundraising
- Audrey Meissner, director of Toronto’s New Haven Learning Centre, a treatment facility for autistic
Viewers can submit questions about autism directly to the experts online at tvoparents.com, or by
phone toll free at 1.888.891.1195.
To view a clip of The Autism Puzzle and After Thomas, please visit TVO’s November Media Highlights
at http://www.newswire .ca/en/releases/ mmnr/tvo/ nov2007/
TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted source of interactive educational
content that informs, inspires and stimulates curiosity and thought. We are committed to empowering
people to be engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media.
For more information: www.tvo.org