The Spellers Guidebook: Practical Advice for Parents and Students (Hardcover)

The Spellers Guidebook: Practical Advice for Parents and Students By Dawnmarie Gaivin, Dana Johnson, J. B. Handley (Foreword by) Cover Image

The Spellers Guidebook: Practical Advice for Parents and Students (Hardcover)

$26.99


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A means by which thousands, and soon millions, of people are being freed from their lives of silence.
 
The Spellers Guidebook is the first of its kind—a comprehensive guidebook that every family should take along for their Spelling journey. From the moment you first learn about spelled communication through working with a practitioner, developing fluency, and everything in between, this book serves as a blueprint to follow while you build the skills to spell openly with your child.
 
The Spellers Guidebook is informative not only for parents and caregivers but for practitioners and professionals as well. It answers questions from the most basic—what to expect during the first spelling session, to more clinical—what is apraxia, and how does it affect my speller? It even discusses the importance of regulation and how the interpersonal dynamic between the speller and their communication partner can impact flow.
 
The journey toward open communication differs for every family, and this handbook is here to help remove any guesswork. Whether your path seems straight and easy to navigate or the road ahead appears winding and twisting, Dana and DM are here to guide you. If you walk away with nothing more than the confidence that you can do this with your nonspeaker (because you CAN), The Spellers Guidebook has done its job! 
 
Dawnmarie Gaivin, RN, BSN, AT-ACP, is the co-creator of Spellers Method and the founder of Spellers Center – San Diego, a spelling and intentional motor practice based in Oceanside, California. As the parent of two nonspeakers who use letterboards, she knows firsthand the journey families experience on the road to fluency. DM, as she is called by many, was featured in JB & Jamie Handley’s book Underestimated as well as Spellers the movie, an award-winning documentary loosely based on the book. Dawnmarie is also president of the board of Spellers Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to providing access to reliable communication and creating communities with nonspeakers.
 
Dana Johnson, PhD, MS, OTR/L is the co-creator of the Spellers Method and founder of Spellers Center – Tampa. She has her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy and a PhD in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Development. Her career has canvassed multiple settings including the public school system, private clinics, and her own private practice focusing on autism, apraxia, and sensory-motor differences. Dana is a board member of Spellers Freedom Foundation. As a Spellers Method practitioner and OT, Dana focuses her work today on supporting the families of nonspeakers and spellers worldwide.
 
The Spellers Guidebook is one of the most important entries into our libraries of parent advice books today. When we ‘assume competence,’ support and break down motor planning, and work with fine motor deficits, including visual motor skills, we can tap into the gifts and emotions of our nonspeakers. If you know anyone whose verbal communication skills are unreliable, limited, or nonexistent, this book is the key to unlocking their thoughts, feelings, and more. Thank you, DM and Dana, for helping us understand that ‘not speaking’ does not mean ‘not competent.’” 
—Patricia S. Lemer, MEd, LPC, author of Outsmarting Autism, director emeritus of Epidemic Answers 
 
The Spellers Guidebook is required reading for anyone who is curious about the Spellers Method of communication for non-speakers. This book provides a comprehensive, yet user-friendly overview of how to get started on your own nonspeaker’s spelling journey. Dr. Dana Johnson and Dawnmarie Gaivin have done an excellent job describing the basis for and the logistics of this new, groundbreaking modality that provides robust communication for all autistic children and adults who are nonspeakers or unreliable speakers.”  
—Brian Hooker, PhD, chief scientific officer of Children's Health Defense and father of speller Steven Hooker
 
“This is the miracle manual for which the parents of nonspeaking children have long been waiting. If you've tried everything and feel hopeless, rouse yourself one final time to read this fantastic book and take action to help your child break through years of silence. My daughter was twenty-three years old when she made her breakthrough. The first session she was melting down and I had Dawnmarie ask her, ‘Do you have faith that this can work?’ With a shaking finger, she spelled her first word. ‘NO.’ Three months later, I had Dawnmarie ask my daughter the same question and she spelled ‘ABSOLUTELY.’ Our nonspeaking children are desperate to communicate with the world and show their intelligence. I believe this program can work for any child.”
—Kent Heckenlively, JD, New York Times bestselling author
 
“This guide is a must-read for families seeking communication and hope for their nonspeaking loved one. Having once taken communication for granted, I can’t convey how hard it has been to accept the news that our daughter may never speak. However, after reading this book and working with the Spellers team on motor and regulation preparation for her to spell, Spellers has become our path for unlocking limitless opportunities and capabilities for our young daughter.”
—Meg Gill, entrepreneur and cofounder of Golden Road Brewery; named Forbes 30 under 30 (2014)
 
“Spelling as a path to communication is life-changing and transformative in the lives of nonspeakers and their loved ones. When my son, Nicholas, who has autism and limited/sometimes unreliable speaking skills, developed the ability to communicate through a letterboard, he spelled out, ‘Spelling has freed me from my silent prison.’ That's when I understood the depth of my son's thoughts and capabilities that I had been unaware were trapped inside him. For new and seasoned parents, this Spellers Guidebook is the perfect companion to take along the journey with your loved one who is learning this method of communication. You'll undoubtedly have questions as you move forward, and all are well answered in these pages. I am excited for all readers because I know that the possibilities are endless of what spelling can unleash for others like my son.”
—Jacqueline Laurita, TV personality and mother to speller Nicholas