SPELLERS is a documentary that challenges the viewpoint that non-speakers who have autism have a cognitive disability. Through the lens of eight non-speakers and their parents, SPELLERS shows that a new wave of voices have been found through the use of a letterboard. The letterboards allow non-speakers to spell out each word and form whole sentences, with as much complexity as people who can speak. Inspired by the book UNDERESTIMATED by J.B. Handley, the movie shows that mainstream communities of scientists have so far refused to accept letterboards as a treatment for non-speakers. However, the eight non-speakers prove that the new treatment is giving them a voice, whereas past science said they would always be silent.
SPELLERS is a compelling, well-shot documentary with an implicit message about being made in God’s image as well as the importance of loving parents. It upholds a strong moral worldview. While the movie’s not explicitly Christian or faith-based, it has many biblical themes about caring for the disabled and giving a voice to the voiceless. However, SPELLERS has several “f” words, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution.
(BB, LL, N):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral worldview that implicitly champions biblical truths like all humans being are made in God’s image, perseverance, the importance of loving parents, and standing up for others
There is some brief foul language, including several f-words both spoken and written
Brief upper male nudity at the beach while people surf
No alcohol use
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drug use; and,
Nothing else objectionable.
SPELLERS is a documentary about the work of the Spellers Freedom Foundation and their mission to prove that most cases of autism related to non-speaking disability are not cognitive related, but motor related. SPELLERS is a compelling, well-shot documentary with an implicit message about being made in God’s image as well as the importance of loving parents, but there are several “f” words, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution.
Through the lens of eight non-speakers, SPELLERS shows that a new wave of voices have been found through the use of a letterboard. While most of the parents did not hear their children utter a word throughout much of their lives, the letterboard allows them to spell out each word and form whole sentences with as much complexity as those who can speak.
Throughout the documentary, parents of non-speakers and their children, as well as the practitioners who use the letterboards, are interviewed. Despite the astonishing results, many in the movie note that the scientific community has not yet ruled letterboards as a recommended treatment for non-speakers.
However, the progress of the eight non-speakers featured in the movie prove that whether or not the practice is backed by science, everyone has a voice and should get the opportunity to express their thoughts. Furthermore, in most of the cases, the non-speakers are not cognitively disabled, but rather simply lack the motor skills to express themselves.
SPELLERS is an uplifting documentary that celebrates the sanctity of all life. It is also a compelling, well-shot documentary with an implicit message about being made in God’s image and the importance of loving parents. It upholds a strong moral worldview. Although SPELLERS isn’t explicitly Christian or faith-based, it has many biblical themes about caring for the disabled and giving a voice to the voiceless. However, the movie has some foul language, including several “f” words. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution.
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