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Loving Lampposts

As autism has exploded into the public consciousness over the last 20 years, two opposing questions have been asked about the condition: is it a devastating sickness to be cured? Or is it a variation of the human brain â—” just a different way to be human?

After his son’s diagnosis, filmmaker Todd Drezner visits the front lines of the autism wars. We meet the “recovery movement,” which views autism as a tragic epidemic brought on by environmental toxins. Operating outside the boundaries of mainstream medicine, these parents, doctors, and therapists search for unconventional treatments that can “reverse” autism and restore their children to normal lives.

We meet the ‘neurodiversity’ movement, which argues that autism should be accepted and autistic people supported. This group argues that the focus on treatments and cures causes the wider society to view autistic people as damaged and sick. Acceptance is the better way, but how do you practice acceptance of autism in a world where the very word can terrify parents?”

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