Beyond the Spectrum Documentary | 86 min | Language: English

“Autism is a broad spectrum and a courageous family faces difficult questions when their young child does not respond well to therapy. Essential viewing for parents and teachers of children with severe challenges.”

– Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures and The Autistic Brain

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.


  • Genre: Documentary
  • Running Time: 58 min (CBC); 86 min (DVD)
  • Writer: Steve Suderman
  • Director: Steve Suderman
  • Producers: Merit Jensen Carr; Steve Suderman
  • Format: HD
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Yes
“Brilliant new documentary Beyond the Spectrum... is must-see TV. It’s impossible to turn away from [Steve Suderman’s] compelling family portrait.”

– Jim Bawden, Television Blogger and former Toronto Star critic

Production Team

Steve Suderman | Director, Camera and Writer

Steve grew up on a farm in rural Manitoba, Canada. He started his career teaching high school mathematics and science before pursuing filmmaking in 2002. Over Land is his first feature film.

Awards & Nominations

  • Official Selection, Azalea Film Festival, 2019
  • Official Selection, Autism Film Festival (Helsinki), 2019
  • Official Selection, Assim Vivemos - Brazil’s International Disability Film Festival, 2019
  • Audience Favourite, Festival Inclús, 2018
  • Official Selection, TRT International Documentary Days, 2018

For media inquiries, please contact:

Ophélie Petit | Email: ophelie@meritmotionpictures.com | Tel: +1 (204) 775-4092