The uplifting true story of two mothers from opposite sides of the world united to help their sons.
Portia Iversen's life was turned upside down when her two-year-old son Dov was diagnosed with autism. Desperate to find a treatment, Portia was shocked to learn that almost nothing was known about the disorder, which only a handful of researchers were studying.
When Portia heard of a severely autistic nonverbal boy in India whose mother had taught him to read and write, she arranged for mother and son to visit the United States to help researchers understand what can be learned from their success. Soma Mukhopadhyay's achievement was truly astonishing: not only could her son Tito communicate, but he had an IQ of 185 and wrote beautiful poetry. Her revolutionary teaching method allowed Tito to explain the startling differences in his sensory perception, offering scientists an unrivaled window into the autistic mind.
Part memoir, part detective story, Strange Son is the captivating account of these families' extraordinary journeys, an inspiring tale of the power of two mothers' determination to find hope where there was once only despair.
Portia Iversen, an Emmy-winning art director (for The Tracey Ullman Show), has been a vigorous proponent of autism research since her son Dov was diagnosed with the condition in 1994. Together with her husband, Jon Shestack, she established the Cure Autism Now Foundation (CAN), one of the largest nongovernmental funding resources for autism research worldwide. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three children.
Jane Kaczmarek's television credits include Help Me Help You, Malcolm in the Middle, Felicity, Party of Five, and Frasier. Her film credits include Pleasantville, Vice Versa, DOA, and Falling in Love. Theater credits include Kindertransport (Ovation Award), Raised in Captivity (LA Drama Critics Award), Dinner With Friends, and Lost in Yonkers.