The Dark End of the Spectrum

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Positron emission tomography image of a human brain - image by BlatantNews

For parents, the realization that their child may be autistic often comes slowly. A worry, a pang, a sinking feeling when trying to play with the new baby, who seems uninterested, even unreachable.

What could be going on?If the answer is autism, it is just the beginning of the questions.

First seen as a medical oddity, the story of autism is both fascinating and troubling. It was described, and named, in the heyday of psychoanalysis. Brilliant, charismatic doctors concluded the disorder was caused by nurture - not nature. In short, it was the parents' fault. They were branded with the label: "refrigerator mothers."

This week on And The Winner Is... we present IDEAS award-winning program on autism. Bernice Landry explores how our understanding of autism has taken an about-face in recent years.

An army of activist parents, and scientists on the cutting edge of genetics research, are together attempting to make up for lost time.

The program is called "The Dark End of the Spectrum."

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Listen to And The Winner Is... episode that aired on September 13, 2011

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Listen to And The Winner Is... episode that aired on September 20, 2011

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