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Teen athletes and parents in 'Swim Team' form a spirited community in the face of autism

Teen athletes and parents in 'Swim Team' form a spirited community in the face of autism

The sheer number of autism documentaries has provided one key overall benefit in understanding those on the spectrum: they’re not monolithic. The breaststroking, freestyling young athletes in “Swim Team” couldn’t be more different in terms of personality, drive, appeal and, of course, developmental challenges, and it gives this film from Lara Stolman its particular character, heart and verve.

“Swim Team” chronicles a New Jersey program started by Michael and Maria McQuay — parents of a water-loving autistic teen named Mikey — who wanted to get other kids on the spectrum together to form a competitive swim team, one with real coaching, high goals and a shot at achievement. (A nice...

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