Spellers™ Method Launches TV Series For Autism Awareness

“Underestimated: The Heroic Rise of Nonspeaking Spellers” premieres May 26.

ANAHEIM, Calif., April 25, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — On May 26, Dawnmarie Gaivin and Dana Johnson, founders of the Spellers Method™ used by thousands of nonspeaking individuals with autism, in partnership with filmmaker Pat R. Notaro III, will launch a video-on-demand docuseries that chronicles what happens once these “Spellers” are empowered to design their own lives and make an impact on the world that didn’t see them coming. The announcement from both executive producers arrives as April—Autism Awareness Month—draws to a close.

Over five episodes, “Underestimated: The Heroic Rise of Non-Speaking Spellers,” inspired by the documentary “SPELLERS The Movie,” follows people of all ages with autism-related neuromotor disorders as they learn to spell words on letters and keyboards. With Notaro at the helm and Evan Rogers assisting in storytelling and editing, each 25-minute episode brings to light the obstacles encountered by children and adults whose developmental differences prevent them from communicating at a level that accurately represents their age and intellectual abilities. Through their eyes, the viewer glimpses the complex realities of living as a nonspeaking person, and the profound effects the Spellers Method™ has on their everyday interactions. 

Said Johnson, “The opportunity to work on a project like this with a team who has the same passion to provide communication to nonspeakers was something that I couldn’t pass up. The success of the documentary was just the start of the Revolution. ‘Underestimated: The Heroic Rise of Nonspeaking Spellers’ will continue to build on that momentum and change the lives of many more families. We won’t stop until all nonspeakers have a voice!”

Said Gaivin, “The nonspeakers who’ve been silenced for generations beneath their labels of autism, Down syndrome, or apraxia, are now being heard thanks to spelling and typing to communicate.  Many thanks to Pat R. Notaro who has once again used his gift of directing to bring these marginalized voices to the mainstream audience. Every episode in the docuseries will expand your mind and your heart, changing forever how you view people at first glance.” 

With 1 in 36 children in America diagnosed with autism in 2023, Gaivin and Johnson’s work is especially important to spotlight via avenues like the docuseries and partnerships with companies like Anaheim-based Golden Road Brewing. Founded by Meg Gill, who has a nonspeaking daughter with autism, Golden Road Brewing and parent company Anheuser Busch released their “Get on Board” IPA on April 2: National Autism Awareness Day. The beer is named for the letterboards used by the Spellers, and serves as a call to action to “get on board” by spreading awareness of the innovative educational products now available to nonspeaking people and their loved ones.  Golden Road Brewing is making a donation to the Spellers Freedom Foundation Scholarship program to encourage even more nonspeakers to ‘Get On Board’ and help them access communication.

Get on Board Hazy IPA is fruity, hops-forward, and bursting with juicy notes of orange, lemon, and peach. It was made with a group of nonspeaking autistic individuals who used spelled communication to contribute—the first in the U.S. to be developed using these methods. Gill and her team will host the premiere of the docuseries at the brewery today in Anaheim, CA at 5:30PM P.S.T supported by an exclusive virtual screening of Episode 3, “Crafty Collaboration”, which chronicles the story behind this extraordinary brew.

“This is the most special beer we’ve ever created,” said Golden Road founder Meg Gill, whose daughter was the inspiration for this partnership. “It brings together my first baby, the business, and my real first baby, and it gives back to a community that I feel has brought me the gift of communication with my daughter.”

Allies, advocates, and supporters of the autism community can watch all five episodes of “Underestimated: The Heroic Rise of Nonspeaking Spellers,” released weekly via Underestimated.TV:

  • May 26, 2024: EP01 “Education Revelation”
  • June 2, 2024: EP02 “Self-Advocacy Ascension”
  • June 9, 2024: EP03 “Crafty Collaboration”
  • June 16, 2024: EP04 “Inspiring Vision”
  • June 23, 2024EP05 “Positive Relation”

 Said Notaro, “Our journey has been nothing short of amazing, collaborating with an exceptional team to produce original stories aimed at broadening minds and effecting change in the world in big ways! We’re deeply grateful to Evan Rogers for his invaluable assistance in storytelling, and to Dathan Graham for his incredible work as director of photography.”

The series can now be pre-ordered for $24.99, or purchased post-launch for $29.99 on Underestimated.TV.

About Spellers Method™
The Spellers Method™ is a multidisciplinary approach taught to practitioners seeking to deepen their capacity to help nonspeakers. It is an educational model, curriculum, & mentorship program used to provide individualized support across a variety of sensory-motor profiles of students who spell or type to communicate. For more information about Spellers™ Method, the Spellers Freedom Foundation, or “Underestimated: The Heroic Rise of Nonspeaking Spellers,” please visit spellers.com or follow on Instagram @spellers__/ and Facebook at facebook.com/spellersrev.

Media Contacts:
Kelly Vogt Campbell |
Reema Haque |
| 818.590.9333

SOURCE The Spellers Method™