Live Screening May 5: “Spellers” Autism Non-Speakers Revolution

By Neenah Payne

Film: Spellers — Autism Non-Speakers Revolution links to the article Underestimated: The Autism Miracle which discusses Del Bigtree’s May 2021 interview on The Highwire with JB Handley and his son Jamison who is autistic (“Non-Speaker”). Jamie has proven to be super smart and a whiz at calculus. His is now in college and plans to study neuroscience. His goal in 10 years is to be able to speak and to get married. About seven million Americans have autism. However, only 1,000-1,500 have gone through the program that freed Jamie. Stephanie Seneff Ph.D. warns that by 2032, 50% (80% of boys) of Americans kids will be autistic!

Underestimated: An Autism Miracle is a 2021 book which was Jamie’s idea. In 2021, he said he wanted to make a film documenting the program that allowed him and his autistic school mates to “speak”. That film is now available for screenings as shown further below.

From “Autistic” to “Non Speakers” or “Spellers”

Autistic people were assumed to be mentally retarded because their motor impairment was seen as a cognitive impairment. However, it was discovered that a significant percentage of autistic people are of high intelligence and have a motor disorder that keeps them from speaking. The motor impairment blocks fine motor skills including speech. Like stroke victims, it’s difficult for autistic people to control their bodies.

Spelling To Communicate (S2C)

“S2C” stands for “Spelling to Communicate”. Dawnmarie Gaivin is a Registered S2C Practitioner who shows autistic people how to point to letters on a “letterboard” to spell words. This creates a neural pathway in the brain to the eyes and hands. Autistic people who use S2C to communicate prefer to be called “Non Speakers” or “Spellers” now.

Jamie was born normal, but regressed at 15 months and for 17 years was unable to communicate with the world around him. Now, a new program has unlocked his voice and challenges everything we thought we knew about autism.  Jamie had his first S2C lesson in December 2019. In the course of a year, he graduated to a keyboard with a voice output. Jamie’s father serves as emotional support as Jamie uses the keyboard at home, but Jamie (like all teenagers) insisted on having someone else support him at school.

JB Handley and his son Jamison (Jamie) were interviewed in An Autism Miracle.

Film: Spellers

In Episode 307 “Unsilenced”, Del Bigtree interviewed Jamie and his father on The Highwire on February 16 this year about his film Spellers starting at 1:23:42 in the show.

SPELLERS | Official Trailer

Inspired by the book Underestimated, by Jamie and JB Handley, the new full-length documentary SPELLERS challenges conventional wisdom regarding a group relegated to society’s margins: nonspeakers with autism, who most “experts” believe are cognitively disabled.

As the film opening asks, “What if they’d 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 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 Non-Speaker: 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.

FRIDAY, MAY 5TH AT 4PM CT (2PM PT), The HighWire is proud to present a live screening of Spellers, from the set of The HighWire, in front of a studio audience!  Following the film, stay tuned for an in-depth Q&A featuring the incredible cast of Spellers, hosted by Del Bigtree.  We will be taking questions from the audience as well as viewers online! Spellers tells a miraculous story of hope, healing and promise by exploring the incredible journey of non-speaking young adults as they discover their voices through the breakthrough method of ‘Spelling to Communicate.’

Please spread the word! Invite your friends and join us as we share these incredible stories of triumph and victory! It’s all right here at It’s Spellers, presented LIVE, MAY 5TH, 2PM pacific, 5PM EASTERN,  at!

Del Bigtree’s new online magazine The Informant is emailed each month to donors of The Highwire.

The first issue came out on May 1 this year and included the following article.

While on the topic of vaccines and autism, Del references the time that Jenny and Dr. Jerry were guests on The CBS show The Doctors, where Del worked as a producer, and how they made “quite the splash with JB Handley”, describing it as “one of the most famous television moments around the conversation of autism that’s ever happened.”

The infamous moment takes place just after host Dr. Travis Stork asserts that “vaccines are really the one thing we have looked at as causing autism.”

To which JB Handley, co-founder of Generation Rescue and recent co-producer of award-winning documentary Spellers retorted, “That is completely bogus. That is such a bogus statement. How many vaccines have they looked at in these studies? How many? What’s the answer? It’s two. How many ingredients have they studied of 35, what’s the answer? It’s one. You’ve looked at two of 36 shots and one of 35 vaccines, and you’re going to stand on the stage and say that vaccines and autism are unrelated. It is the most bogus tobacco science. It’s a smokescreen, and anybody who takes the time to read it would agree. I’m so sick of doctors who don’t read the studies, who don’t know the details, sitting here telling parents and reassuring them that vaccines don’t cause autism. It is irresponsible.”

Dr. Stork’s emotional reaction to being called out on stage caused a viral sensation online. Del expressed that despite the outrageous nature of Travis’ behavior in the aired clip, he felt compelled to commend him for his contributions to their work on the show, “Travis gets a really bad rap for that moment. He was a really great person to work with. Because of his supporting some of the stories I wanted to do, I was able to look into glyphosate and the World Health Organization and the fact that it’s now known to cause cancer… there were a lot of great things I was able to do.”

Continuing on autism, Del mentions that the current rate is 1 in 36. Dr. Jerry shares that the rate was only 1 in 10,000 when he was attending medical school in the 1980s, highlighting the astronomical increase in autism prevalence. Jenny adds that when she was on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the rate was 1 in 150, and at that time was expressing concern about the rapidly increasing rate, asking, “What number will it take for us to realize there’s a problem here?

Dr. Jerry then reveals that the rate of autism in boys is even higher, at 1 in 32, which is a highly concerning statistic. Dr. Jerry shifts the conversation toward treatment options for autism and highlights the success rate of a gluten-free, dairy-free diet. He notes that about 70% of his patients have benefited from removing gluten and dairy entirely; “the eyes just clear up, and now we’ve got eye contact, sleeping through the night. You know, many of the kids can’t sleep through the night. And I said, well, let’s go gluten-free, dairy-free. Now they’re sleeping through the night.”

While discussing autism treatments, Jenny makes it clear that the goal is not to cure autism. She references being contacted by young adults with autism who have asked people to “stop trying to fix autism, stop trying to fix me.” Instead, the focus is on addressing any underlying injuries or conditions that may be exacerbating symptoms in children who are severe or have co-morbidities such as seizures or intestinal issues. Del shares that he had similar experiences during discussions on autism, citing instances where individuals with Asperger’s took offense at his comments on severe symptoms of autism, such as those that require constant supervision, self-injure, are unable to communicate, or wear diapers.

Del and Jenny acknowledge that autism is a spectrum and individuals can be exceptionally brilliant and successful in many areas. In contrast, others may have severe limitations requiring more intensive care. Dr. Jerry explains that his treatment approach is to address the symptoms of autism to improve the overall comfort and wellbeing of individuals rather than attempting to “cure” their autism. Jenny also adds that she uses the word recover; “I never said Evan was cured because you don’t really have a cure necessarily, but he recovered from these injuries. Recovered from his vaccine injuries, which allowed him to speak, to get back on track, to meet those milestones, to go to a typical school… that’s what we mean by recovering–recovering those injuries.”

Despite the numerous challenges that come with raising a child with autism, many families still hold out hope for their child to recover and eventually live independently. However, for many children with autism, this is not a reality, and they remain dependent on others for their care throughout their lives. This reality presents a daunting responsibility for parents and caregivers, who may worry about who will take care of their child in the future when they are no longer able to do so themselves, or after their passing. This valid concern is not lost on Dr. Jerry and Jenny, who have firsthand experience in caring for a child with autism and understand the difficulties that come with providing lifelong care and support for a child. It is this understanding that has led them to develop The Home Life Community.

The Home Life Community is a place where adults with special needs can live independently in a supportive and caring environment. This community will be specifically designed to cater to the needs of individuals with autism, providing them with a safe, comfortable and structured living space. The community will also offer a range of services and amenities that will enhance the quality of life for residents.

Click here to learn more.

Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Dr. Kartzinel & Del Ep 312, 2023


Celebrity Warrior Mom, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg and Autism Treatment Specialist of more than 25 years, Dr. Jerry Kartzinel join Del to discuss their tireless fight to bring meaningful autism awareness and treatment, having tackled even the toughest topics around the issue including the vaccine-autism connection, and to announce a new community they are building for adults with autism and other special needs.

Neenah Payne writes for Activist Post

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