is everything you thought you knew about autism was wrong?
by the book Underestimated, the new full-length
conventional wisdom regarding a group relegated to society’s margins:
nonspeakers with autism,
most “experts” believe are cognitively disabled.
the film opening asks, “What if we’ve been wrong…about every single one of
them?” SPELLERS answers that question, in convincing fashion, through the
stories of eight nonspeakers—Aydan, Evan, Sid, Maddie, Jamie, Vince, Cade, and
Elizabeth—who all found their voice through the miraculous process of using a
letterboard to communicate their thoughts and feelings. As Jamie explains, “we
think, feel, and learn just like everyone else.”
The film blends
beautiful cinematography with heart-wrenching stories of these eight spellers
and a strong message for every parent of a nonspeaker: your child can do this,
too. SPELLERS also demands that teachers, schools, and therapists wake up to
the reality that we may have underestimated the abilities of more than 50
million people worldwide.