‘Wretches and Jabberers’

The Takeaway

This story originally aired on The Takeaway. Use the player above to listen to the interview with the stars of Wretches and Jabberers.

“Wretches and Jabberers” is a buddy movie, a road trip movie and a moving adventure. But this new film is different than your typical mainstream fare. The documentary stars two autistic friends and advocates who do most of their communicating through typing. The story follows Larry Bissonnette and Tracy Thresher, as well as their assistants Pascal Cheng and Harvey Lavoy, as they travel around the world, meet other autistic people, and advocate for autism rights.

Bissonnette and Thresher share this message in their travels: You can do anything, just look at us.

Gerry Wurzburg, the film’s director, says the film reveals the personalities of the two friends and how they engage people wherever they go.

“The general audience, not people who are in the disability community, are amazed by this film,” said Wurzburg. “Because it’s this journey into a world that they don’t know anything about. It challenges the way they have normally approached people who don’t communicate or look different … it completely rearranges their brain about how they need to approach the world.”

With limited speech, Bissonnette and Thresher communicate by typing into mini keyboards that verbalize their words.

Thresher  describes himself and Bissonnette as, “Comedic astronauts, with a hero’s aura, about presenting a new face for autism.”

The film is scheduled for release in April to commemorate National Autism Awareness Month.

To view a clip of the movie and see photos of its stars, visit The Takeaway website.


The Takeaway” is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what’s ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.