One in 150 children is diagnosed with autism every year. There are four times as many boys as girls afflicted with this mysterious and complex neurological disorder. Icelandic writer and director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson is at the helm of this uplifting documentary about Margaret Dagmar Ericsdottir's quest to seek treatment for her 10-year-old son Keli, who has been diagnosed as severely autistic. It is clear from the outset that she is not seeking a miracle cure; she wants concrete facts that can bolster her hope that someday he will be independent and able to express himself.

Traveling to the United States and Europe, Margaret interviews parents, scientists, and professionals, including Dr. Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer of Autism Speaks; Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge; and Dr. David Amaral, research director of the Mind Institute. Temple Grandin, whose inspiring story recently was aired as a movie on HBO, provides many fascinating insights into the causes and nature of autism. Margaret speaks to parents who share the challenges of raising children who are hobbled by their social awkwardness, communication problems, and rigid and repetitive body movements. We also learn how autistic children respond to the world through their over-developed or under-developed senses of sight and sound.

Many of the most promising therapies and educational programs have been spurred on by parental initiatives rather than institutional ones. Margaret meets Soma Mukhopadhyay, educational director of HALO (Helping Autism Through Learning and Outreach) in Austin, Texas. Using a technique called the Rapid Prompting Method, Soma has enabled her son Tito to transcend his autism and become a successful writer. In a startlingly dramatic series of sessions with Margaret's son Keli, we see him communicate in ways that stun his parents. He even admits to wanting to learn piano and having created various musical tunes in his head.

A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism fulfills its goal of informing us about the challenges and exciting new developments that signal hope to those raising children afflicted with this neurological disorder.

Special features include an interview with the director and a resource guide.