In the film, Oskar visits a naturopath. Based on his test results, Carly and Stef opt for a variety for biomedical interventions involving diet, vitamin and mineral supplements, along with other forms of treatment. Carly describes their journey with biomedical interventions in her blog:
“Naturopathic (ND) or holistic doctors are doctors that aim to get the entire body to its optimal health. In my opinion and that of many other parents who have traveled…“to the other side,” optimal health should always be the goal.”
Dr Bernard Rimland pioneered biomedical interventions for autism in the 1960s, upsetting the conventional wisdom that autism was the fault of “cold” parents. While biomedical approaches are in need of further scientific investigation, many parents report positive results with a variety of diets, supplements, and alternative medicines. Treatments include vitamins and minerals, probiotics, anti-viral medications, allergy treatments, and more. The challenge for parents is to identify an intervention (or combination) that addresses their child’s unique needs.
Follow Carly and Stef as they delve into their experience with biomedical interventions in their blog The Muddy Path.
A note from Carly & Stef
We invited director Steve Suderman to share our story with the hope that our experience would offer comfort to other families facing similar experiences, and provide insight into life with a special needs child for those who aren’t familiar with the highs and lows of parenting on the spectrum.
This film portrays the beginning of our journey and our story is far from over. We hope that the film demonstrates that there is no single “correct” way to approach the task of supporting your child on their developmental path. We wanted to empower parents to do their own research, and make choices with the intention that they can help their child to thrive, regardless of their diagnosis. We think the film Steve made does this and this website has some additional videos and information for those who want to find out more about topics and therapies featured in the film.
For parents of children with autism the first year after diagnosis can be confusing and tiring. At times you might feel that you can never do enough research, the options are endless, and the developmental milestones can seem unattainable. The important thing to remember is that as parents it is our job to advocate, observe and use our gut instincts! It's not "one size fits all” and different therapies work for different children. Try therapies that your gut tells you might be a good fit for what you are seeing in your child, and maybe stop anything that doesn’t seem to work since you can always try again later. You know your child better than anyone else and you can trust that instinct.
Lastly, you don’t need to spend a lot of money. There are lots of free things in books or the internet that you can do or try at home. Don’t break the bank – listen to your gut!
Statement of Values
For a year director Steve Suderman followed Carly, Stef and their five children, as the family faced each challenge and joy that arose since their son Oskar’s autism diagnosis. Throughout the film Carly and Stef try a range of therapies and treatments; all out of love for their son and the desire to connect with him. The intent of the documentary is not to endorse or dissuade from any particular treatment. Rather, our hope is that the film will communicate the experience of a family touched by autism, something parents can share with family, caregivers, and friends to offer an insight into their world.
We believe that autism is a unique way of being in the world. We advocate for inclusion, respect, and increased services that make tangible differences in the lives of those on the spectrum - and their families. We hope that this collection of articles and videos from our team and other third-party sources will help provide a fuller picture of the treatments, therapies, and ideas explored in the film.
Carly and Stef, the family featured in this film, maintain a blog called The Muddy Path. Please check it out to learn more about their experiences raising a family with children on the autism spectrum.
The Muddy Path: Biomedical
“A term that will often come in up in circles of parents with children with ASD is “Biomedical treatments” or “Biomed” for short. So if you’re a parent to a child with a new diagnosis I will explain a little bit of our experience and what it means to our family…”
In the process of making this film, we collected a lot of additional material we wanted to share. We hope you find it helpful.
Integrated Health: Tests your naturopath may order
Naturopath Dr. Scott Clack discusses the different tests he uses to assess the digestive systems and hormone levels in children with autism.
Autism: Addressing health challenges
Jackie McMillan describes the role of autism as people make progress with autism health challenges and experience a better quality of life. Jackie provides more information on managing autism challenges on her website.
Learn more about the people and ideas featured in the film.