Finding Dory and Learning Disabilities

An interesting and important perspective to consider when watching Finding Dory, especially given the author’s background:

While I’ve never had a child myself, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as a child, and I can only imagine that my parents had doubts similar to Dory’s when they heard the news.

I know for sure that, like Dory, the awareness of my limitations had a profound (if at times subtle) effect on how I behaved toward others.

When you spend your entire life knowing that you’re “different,” you apologize more often (as Dory does in the film), just in case you’ve messed up in some way indiscernible to yourself; you blame yourself for the hardships caused to your parents (again, like Dory); and when you find people who accept you for who you are, and even point out that your weaknesses can become strengths, the notion frequently comes as a shock (points again to Dory).

The article is a reminder that there are many of us who struggle, daily, to find our place in the world and who very aware to what these challenges are. We aren’t blind to them which makes it even more difficult.

If “Finding Dory” can make that message part of our cultural zeitgeist when confronting learning disabilities, it will have performed a truly wonderful public service. Who would have thought one of the deepest films ever made about learning disabilities would star a talking blue fish?

Thanks Matthew for your valuable perspective and reminder.

Oh, and my family enjoyed the movie yesterday – it’s worth a view!

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