Autism Enigma given four stars by Jim Bawden

TV critic and blogger James Bawden describes The Autism Enigma as “Must See Canadian TV”: “Sometimes a promising documentary gets vaulted into the must see category by events that can only be described as serendipitous.
The hour long The Autism Enigma falls into this category . The explosion of autism in very young children began as a Nature Of Things project co-directed by Marion Gruner and Christopher Sumpton.
Guleph based Gruner is a new mother who was only beginning to hone in on the subject when she interviewed the remarkable 90-year old Dr. Sydney Finegold, the world’s leading authority on bowel flora.
In 1998 Feingold had a call from a Chicago gastroenterologist who knew a mother Ellen Bolte with a young son who she figured out might have had some form of bacterial infection.
“And we went to Chicago area to see her,”Gruner reports. “And she’s a remarkable woman with a background that enabled her to know where to dig for facts and who to contact.
Her theory went something like this: the baby had to have huge doses of antibiotics which seemed to change his very demeanor and she wondered if it had somehow impacted on his central nervous system.
Interviewed on the hour Feingold says that was entirely possible and that when treated with Vancomycin the baby dramatically improved for the six weeks he was on the drug only to regress later.
“It turns out Mrs. Bolte photographed this period extensively and we see how much improved the boy is. And then we see the shocking regression,” Gruner adds..
Bolte’s remarkable documentation vaults The Autism Enigma into the category of must see TV.
And being able to personalize the story should make all the difference to many viewers. It provides an instant connection.”
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