Fiction and Dyspraxia

Non-dyspraxic chat about anything under the sun

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JamesAnthony91
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Fiction and Dyspraxia

Post by JamesAnthony91 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:36 pm

I recently found out about an anime I WISH I got to see when I was a child for something to identify with, it's this whole franchise that's been around since the 70's called "Doraemon", and the main character, Nobita Nobi, shows so many symptoms of Dyspraxia. He's described as clumsy, forgetful, and he's always doing badly at school despite having a great imagination. I'd say that it portrays Dyspraxia in a positive light though, since the whole point of the series is Nobita learning to get past his difficulties. The character isn't labelled as having Dyspraxia, but his symptoms would probably get him a diagnosis. This got me thinking: what other characters COULD be said to have Dyspraxia, even if never specified to have the disorder?

One of the most obvious examples I could think of is Charlie Brown, given the whole football kicking gag used in the series. I'd say he's another positive example, because, his optimism and determination is what makes him the leader and hero at the end of the day, even if he's made fun of or isn't always all that confident in his abilities. Besides these cartoon examples, I can't think of any, but if others have a few guesses, I'd be glad to know about them.

OneClumsyDragon
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Re: Fiction and Dyspraxia

Post by OneClumsyDragon » Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:50 pm

Arthur Christmas from the film of the same name perhaps.
Clumsy and forgetful, cares so much about Christmas, puts 100% effort into everything and struggles socially
He also seems oblivious to reading/ understanding other people properly
All the secrets of the world are contained in books. Read at your own risk.

JamesAnthony91
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Re: Fiction and Dyspraxia

Post by JamesAnthony91 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:02 am

Wouldn't some of those traits be more Aspergers than Dyspraxia? I know they can overlap, but, having Dyspraxia doesn't necessarily mean you're not good at reading body language or that you don't have any social intelligence. I looked up the character, he does have the clumsy part down to a T. I know I was clumsy as a kid, but I had a lot to work with. Apparently my reflexes are great, so, that's an example of physical skills that can be used to compensate. I remember, even as a kid who had really bad handwriting and sometimes missed the football I was intending to kick, I was somehow able to catch a tennis ball while at the beach. This wasn't aimed at me, it was being thrown to someone at a distance from my relative position, but I sensed a ball coming toward me and instinctively caught it, just like that. So, I think that in examining fictional characters that may have Dyspraxia, it's important to remember that showing skill in an area, doesn't mean they don't have it, and lacking certain skills, doesn't mean they do have it at all :P Think of the cognitive aspects of Dyspraxia. Some people thrive in things involving programming languages and engineering, while others would feel like a fish out of water, and instead prefer creative writing or painting. Some, who are good at painting and drawing, can actually have a lot of symptoms of Dyspraxia, others with Dyspraxia might be terrible at arts that involve hand-eye coordination. I worry about a "placebo" effect with Dyspraxia. People learn they have it, then presume they are what stereotypes say they are, instead of looking at it all in a very scientific way. There will always be variables, nobody's great at anything without training themselves, and we can only find these things out by trying. I think it'd be great if there were more representations of Dyspraxia in popular culture, though based on real life cases instead of personified worst case scenarios. I mean, I see stuff about people with Dyspraxia struggling to cook for themselves or that they have bad timing. If someone were so thick, that they HAD to say either of those apply to me, I'd actually wonder if they're messing with me or if they really are that ignorant of human nature. My timing is amazing, better than most people, and I enjoy cooking my own meals, because nobody's going to cook for me. This is why there needs to be more...realistic depictions of people with Dyspraxia. There's people with it who've gone on to start their own companies, and have been successful. Same with ADHD, same with Autism(look up John R. Hall.) I know that Dyslexia has LESS of a stigma, because there's someone as high profile as Richard Branson who had it and made it out to be key to his success. Maybe we need someone as high profile as Richard Branson, showing that they are successful in part because of the skills that come with Dyspraxia, and not "in spite" of having Dyspraxia. I know I seem to be going on a run on commentary, but I'm very passionate about this. Strategic thinking and creativity are linked to Dyspraxia, and I know that as with ADHD, all it takes is grit and self regulation to leverage these GIFTS for leadership. Strategic thinking and systems thinking...basically comes before all in terms of management. This means that Dyspraxia can lead to a type of thought pattern, that's used to SET the goals others must implement. It is concerned with the long term. Dyspraxia...basically makes you a boss, if you have the right attitude. I thought I was bad at math because of how schools teach math, but then I found out...that actual Mathematicians are disgusted by how schools teach the subject. When I approached the subject with systems thinking in mind, looking to relate specific parts to a whole, it all just clicked, and I can confidently say that I am capable of grasping advanced mathematics, though I will admit I am still not a mathematical thinker. I'm strategic and I have noticed from a young age that I look at how disparate parts relate to the whole(making me a natural when it comes to Biology, something, funnily enough, a math whiz told me he just doesn't understand.) I think the positives of Dyspraxia, need more of a media portrayal, because I can tell you now as someone who's always been a scrapper, I am not someone who would have been considered weak or unfit. As a child, for what I lacked in writing or kicking a football, I made up for in overpowering people during fights, so I would have served well in more violent times when wildly swinging an axe gave people(Vikings) an edge. It might be a male pride thing, but, I just want to flick away guys who go on as if their Dyspraxia makes them the weakest link. It can actually make them fit to be among the best of the best :) Even so, nobody's great at everything, so, if someone has a functioning brain and body, they can contribute in some area of society. We should all contribute, no matter the label, as equals with differing roles. A guy with Dyspraxia can be as badass as anyone, and some who get lost in self mockery, may once have reached greater potential when the label didn't exist. I know the label CAN help, but I am sickened by the damage it causes, when it should only be used for humanitarian ends...not to dictate what strengths a person does, or does not, have. Dyspraxia needs a Richard Branson, and badass fictional representatives too :) I'll try my best to be the most badass real representative though :D

Ram
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Re: Fiction and Dyspraxia

Post by Ram » Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:14 pm

In the 1983 Channel 4 film Good and Bad at Games there is a main character called John Cox (aka Animal), who I think might be dyspraxic.

John Cox is a boy at a private English boarding school in the early 1970s who is horrendously bullied by the in crowd of odious toffs at his school. Ten years later he is an investigative journalist who is on a mission to bring the ringleader of the bullies to justice.

The reasons for me thinking John Cox is possibly dyspraxic are as follows.
1. He is bad at sports as you might guess from the title.
2. He has somewhat awkward jerky movements,
3. He is slightly odd in a way that might be irritating to some but endearing to others.
4. He is single-minded to the point of obsession about things, especially with respect to pursuing his tormentor.
5. He is clearly an original thinker who shows profound insight and is certainly adept with words.

I realize that not all dyspraxics have these points and these features are by no means unique to Dyspraxia. Nonetheless, I would say that the above combination of traits suggests he might be dyspraxic.

Some might say that the obsessive behavior is an Asperger's rather than a Dyspraxic trait. But I believe obsessive behavior is listed as one of the traits of Dyspraxic behavior on the Dyspraxia Foundation website.

For those of you who would like to see the whole of the film Good and Bad at Games , it is available on youtube. However, I should warn you that it is quite distressing at times.

Ram
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Re: Fiction and Dyspraxia

Post by Ram » Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:55 pm

Dr. Tony Hill, the psychologist, in the TV series Wire in the Blood is described as having Developmental Coordination Disorder by Wikipedia.

He is an original thinker who often gets to the bottom of crimes that highly competent neurotypical senior officers cannot fathom.

He also has 'different' social skills at times and can be incredibly forgetful. In one scene he's sitting inside his car, but he's left his keys in the car door.

JamesAnthony91
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Re: Fiction and Dyspraxia

Post by JamesAnthony91 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:07 pm

I've been meaning to watch that show, I heard it's as good as Breaking Bad. I have a headcanon that Walter White may or may not have some coordination issues, but, overlapping with mild aspergers.

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