Special TVO television-web event explores autism, Sunday November 18, 2007

    TORONTO, Oct. 31 /CNW/ - Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is recognized as
being the most common neurological disorder affecting children and one of the
most common developmental disabilities. 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's estimated to affect 1 in 165 Canadian
    The event features a documentary, a feature-length drama and a live
webcast discussion with experts on autism (detailed below). And starting a
week prior to the event, on Monday November 12, TVO's parenting website,
tvoparents.com, offers special autism-related content, including articles on
autism diagnosis, various treatments and education as well as videoclips
featuring perspectives from four parents of autistic children. Visitors can
also listen to a podcast in which these parents describe their journeys and
offer tips for other parents.

    Sunday November 18 at 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
have awareness and even the definition of autism changed 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.

    Sunday November 18 at 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 Sunday November 18 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 welcomes:

    - 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 children

    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 www.newswire.ca/en/releases/mmnr/tvo/nov2007

    About TVO
    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 further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Angela Garde, (416) 484-2600,
ext. 2305, agarde@tvo.org; Paul Ginis, (416) 484-2600, ext. 2445,

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