Dyspraxic Characters

Dyspraxic Characters

Coming off from a post of mine, I figured that a page dedicated to the Dyspraxic Characters and the Potential Dyspraxic Characters would be a good move. There’s so much potential that having a page dedicated to it will make it easier to update with anything new I discover. I will try to not give away too much unnecessary detail about the franchise they’re in, but just in case potential spoilers ahead! Finally, the potential Dyspraxic characters are my own opinion so it’ll probably differ to your own. If you’re ready, let’s crack on!

Confirmed Dyspraxic Characters

None to report yet but watch this space!

Potential Dyspraxic Characters

Top Scoring Dyspraxic Characters

Here’s the list of characters who scored 4 or more in my analysis and who I feel are either average, good or strong contenders for being a dyspraxic character:

Mr Bump (Mr Men) ~ 9
Warrior (Tugs) ~ 8
Tonks (Harry Potter) ~ 9
Neville Longbottom (Harry Potter) ~ 5
Miranda (Miranda) ~ 9
Homer Simpson (The Simpsons) ~ 7
Mr. Bean (Mr. Bean) ~ 4
Angela Cross (Ratchet and Clank 2) ~ 7

The Honorary Dyspraxic Characters

Characters who score low (1-3) or are currently unscored are given honorary dyspraxic character status. They still have some traits and so deserve recognition of some kind. My final score of a character is my personal opinion and it means those who don’t score favourably shouldn’t be completely dismissed:

Bella (The Twilight Saga) ~ Unscored
Harry Potter (Film version) ~ 1
Errol (The Weasley’s Pet Owl) ~ 2
Cassandra (Soul Series) ~ 2
Tillie (The Little Engine) ~ 1

Analysis

This is where you’ll find my breakdown of several characters suspected of having dyspraxia. Please feel free to voice your own opinion including any character(s) that aren’t listed or whether you agree or disagree with my scoring. If you like more detail on my scoring and analysing system you’ll find it after the character chapters.

 

Mr. Bump (Mr. Men and Little Miss series)

 

Related image

Ah, Mr. Bump the cartoon embodiment of clumsiness. While all characters within the series have clumsy moments here and there, Mr. Bump gets into all sorts of accidents on a regular basis.  It is in his name after all! Quote: “The trouble was that Mr. Bump could not stop having little accidents. If there was something for Mr. Bump to bump into, he’d bump into it alright.” It could be fair to say that we can relate to Mr. Bump at the core level. Mr. Bump does share other Dyspraxia-like tendencies like getting lost, breaking things, and having problems with coordination. He’s a good problem solver too and can make his disadvantages into an advantage. The character is a basic one so there isn’t any character development but there isn’t much to contradict the dyspraxia type tendencies either.
My Dyspraxia Rating: 9/10

Warrior (Tugs TV series)

Dyspraxic Characters: Warrior Tugs
Warrior is clumsy and accident-prone throughout the show, from bumping into things and sometimes being a bit forgetful. He has demonstrated that he can come up with creative ideas and has a very strong will. Warrior once showed that he can tire more easily than the other tugboats, a trait that no other character has shown throughout the entirety of the show, so it is unique to him. Those with dyspraxia can tire more easily than the non-dyspraxic people. Warrior being non-human makes it difficult to draw up any more comparisons though.
My Dyspraxia rating: 8/10

 

Nymphadora Tonks [a.k.a Tonks/Dora] (Harry Potter series)

Tonks with pink hair and her wand from the Order of the Pheonix

Tonks was first introduced in Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, which was the 5th book and film in the series. Her character and development in the film were severely cut down compared to the book. Despite her less prominent appearance in the film, Tonks is still one of the most beloved characters in the franchise. Tonks is an extremely clumsy witch and has had a few mishaps and accidents throughout the course of the series;

  1. Breaking a plate (which acted as her introduction to the series),
  2. Breaking other things,
  3. Knocking over objects,
  4. Falling over the same umbrella stand on more than one occasion (in the film she stumbles over the umbrella stand).
  5. Falling down/over things

Tonks has admitted to being clumsy in the past, so it is something that happens to her regularly. As a side note, when actress Natalia Tena auditioned for the role of Tonks she tripped over a table and chair to give the impression that she’s clumsy – which just helps build up this character! Tonks has the unusual gift of being a Metamorphmagus, which is having the magical ability to change her physical appearance at will unaided by potion or spell. Now while having such a gift isn’t linked to dyspraxia – at least as far as I know! – when she gets emotional she occasionally loses control over this power for a moment making her hair change colour. Hair spontaneously changing colour isn’t a dyspraxic trait either, but the very notion of difficulty controlling ones’ emotions is for sure. She has also suffered from depression at some points, but this can be explained due to certain events that took place.

Personality wise, she is an inquisitive person with enthusiasm and is fiercely loyal to those around her with an equally strong will. She is one to help brighten the mood and cheer people up during bleak times. With all these elements combined, book Tonks stands out to me as someone who is the best contender in the Harry Potter universe as having dyspraxia. Film Tonks is still a good contender, but there isn’t much else to add. There’s just one shred of doubt that stops her scoring any higher which is her being a Metamorphmagus. With the ability to change physical appearance this could impact spatial awareness due to not constantly having the same body – being taller will make it so much easier to whack your head if you weren’t used to the height! Overall, Tonks is one heck of a complex character that needed more thought and preparation than the other characters on my post, she was suggested to me early on which made me crack on and give her the chapter she deserves.

We don’t witness Tonks doing normal activities so this makes it difficult to bring up any more comparisons – after all, she has magic to aid if she struggles with buttons and shoelaces, etc! As brought up in my Neville Longbottom chapter, J. K. Rowling hasn’t revealed if any of her characters have dyspraxia or not, however, her silence doesn’t affect my score. Tonks was introduced in the series when the books took a dark turn. I theorise that J. K. Rowling created Tonks to bring joy, light, and humour to not only the characters around her but also the reader otherwise it would be a very bleak book.
My Dyspraxia Rating: 9/10

Tonks tripping
Tonks tripping in the film – her and Kingsley’s reactions are ones I know all too well!

Neville Longbottom 

Dyspraxic Characters: neville longbottom

Neville demonstrates certain Dyspraxic tendencies, like losing things and having awkward moments. So it is widely accepted that he could have Dyspraxia. These tendencies aren’t brought up again after the first book as such though. Most of the time his misfortune is down to a stroke of bad luck. Early on in the series, he is shown to not be a very skilled wizard, but this could be down to a lack of self-confidence. It could well be a co-ordination difficulty but it isn’t confirmed if it is the case or not. Some theories state that it is his wand that is the problem and not directly him. The strongest piece of evidence that he isn’t Dyspraxic is J. K. Rowling, as she has expanded on the Harry Potter universe by answering fan theories and questions over the years. Knowing her responses in the past I am highly confident Neville being Dyspraxic would be shot down just as easily as the other theories. With Daniel Radcliffe revealing his own Dyspraxia, it created a golden opportunity for J. K. Rowling to reveal to us if any of her characters have Dyspraxia. She hasn’t, yet, so we can accept that as an answer. For my rating, I’ll ignore the fact that J. K. Rowling hasn’t confirmed or denied it.
My Dyspraxia rating: 5/10

Harry Potter

Image result for harry potter
This is a tricky one and I can understand why people may think Harry is Dyspraxic. However, the book version of Harry Potter didn’t show any real signs of having Dyspraxia and he did show an incredible amount of dexterity and coordination with no confirmed issues. His appearance of messy hair, broken glasses etc, which can be associated with Dyspraxia, is obviously as a result of being kept in a dusty cupboard for most of his early life and the treatment from the people around him. The film version is much the same except Harry is played by Daniel Radcliffe, who has Dyspraxia. So it is possible that some of Daniel’s Dyspraxia traits could come through in the acting. In the film, there is a moment involving shoelaces but whether this is just creative licensing on the film part, a nod to the actor’s actual Dyspraxia, or as a hint to something more about the character is debatable.
My Dyspraxia Rating (Book): 0/10
My Dyspraxia Rating (Film): 1/10

Errol ~ The Weasley’s Pet Owl

While on the subject of Harry Potter and clumsiness I thought I bring up Errol – the Weasley’s lovable but equally clumsy pet owl. Errol has bumped, crashed, and has gotten lost on several occasions and this is put down to his old age and bad eyesight. However, despite the bad eyesight he seems to be able to, for the most part at least, find his destination – in other words, he is an expert at crash landing in the right spot! I think there could be more to Errol than just old age and bad eyesight and while I am unsure if owls can be Dyspraxic (I wonder if any animals can get diagnosed with Dyspraxia) I can say that I wouldn’t rule it out completely, but it is still fairly unlikely nevertheless.
My Dyspraxia Rating: 2/10

Miranda (Miranda TV series)

Dyspraxic Characters: miranda

A character that many believe to be dyspraxic. Her clumsiness and awkward tendencies being her prominent character traits. There are many people with Dyspraxia that are able to relate to her and because of this, it is highly possible that she is Dyspraxic. Miranda as a show has a very basic premise and doesn’t really involve much character development – it runs like a sketch, which makes it difficult to get the full picture of a character. At face value, she is one of the best contenders for Dyspraxia on modern television. It’s also worth noting that in the show ‘Not Going Out’ Miranda played a character called Barbara who was also clumsy and this character could well have been a precursor to the character in the show Miranda.
My Dyspraxia Rating: 9/10

Homer J. Simpson (The Simpsons)

Dyspraxic Characters: homer simpson
He certainly has a fair few of the tendencies such as the countless accidents, getting distracted easily, messy eater, etc. Not to mention he has a big heart and strong willingness at times. Generally speaking, Homer is a strong contender for a Dyspraxia label, however, there was an episode which gave an explanation into Homer’s persona. As a result, it could be argued that because of this Homer doesn’t exactly have Dyspraxia, rather it would be Apraxia*. Homer is a perfect example of why fictional characters, especially cartoons, are pretty much impossible to give labels. Cartoon characters run off cartoon logic rather than what we have come to expect in the real world.
My Dyspraxia rating: 7/10 (If we count Apraxia as Dyspraxia)

*The main difference between Dyspraxia and Apraxia is that Dyspraxia is from birth while Apraxia comes about from a serious accident (like stroke or head injury).

Mr Bean

Dyspraxic Characters: mr bean
This character is another difficult one. Some say he probably has Dyspraxia, others say he could be classed as having Asperger’s. Judging him across the original TV series and the 2 spin-off films he has shown that he can be clumsy, forgetful, and is non-verbal (except for the occasional word). He also owns a creative mind and has tackled problems with a unique approach (quite the dangerous creative mind I must add). He has shown strong coordination and dexterity skills, which works against him having Dyspraxia. I decided to take an online assessment on his behalf just to see what springs up. I had to take certain liberties and make some educated guesses but the conclusion came back as unlikely. I’ve ignored the quiz for my rating as it isn’t a definitive answer.
My Dyspraxia rating: 4/10.

Angela Cross (Ratchet and Clank 2: Going Commando)

Dyspraxic Characters: angela cross
Ratchet and Clank is a very successful game series dating back to the early years of the PlayStation 2. In the second installment a new character is introduced – Angela Cross. During the cutscenes, it shows that she is clumsy such as slipping, falling, banging her head, and other mishaps. She also has quite the technical mind, which does suggest she has Dyspraxia (if Dyspraxia exists in other galaxies that is!). But the technical mind could be due to her species being very technical minded. She doesn’t appear in any other games so far and her character development is very limited so it is difficult to build the complete picture. If she had more character development with the same personality consistency then her score would be a few points higher, however judging her on the appearances she has had so far I’m happy with the score that I have settled on.
My Dyspraxia Rating: 7/10

Cassandra Alexandra (Soul Calibur Series)

SCIII

Cassandra is a character from the popular fighting series Soul Calibur, making her debut in Soulcalibur II. Fighting game characters don’t get much of personal development and really their story arc is what these games really concentrate on. Cassandra is considered a bit clumsy and has damaged a few swords due to clumsy mishandling. While she is a naturally talented fighter, she isn’t a trained one so to determine if the accidents are because she is a ‘novice’ fighter or because she is naturally clumsy is difficult to gauge. Being a fighting game you don’t normally get clumsy characters unless they’re a joke character, it’s part of their fighting mechanics/style or it’s to balance an overpowered character. She doesn’t have any clumsy incorporated attacks or moments during gameplay. Taking all characters into account Cassandra would be considered the most natural clumsiest of the bunch. Personality wise she shows fierce loyalty to those around her, especially for her sister, Sophitia. Her determination to succeed and her hard-working mentality to do what she feels is right is unquestionable. After that this analysis hits a standstill as there’s nothing else to really talk about so without any more insight, it is difficult to score Cassandra high but the foundation is set just in case something comes to light that just clicks.
My Dyspraxia Rating: 2/10

Any game character that you play as!

Dyspraxic Characters: game character
This is probably cheating, but this page is just a bit of fun and not to be taken too seriously! When you think about it if you have Dyspraxia and you play a game it automatically makes that character Dyspraxic! Whether it’s missing a platform as you make a jump, missing the target as you’re firing away, messing up a button sequence, getting lost (even with a map!) and anything else, the character is a reflection of you! This is especially true if you’re playing virtual reality or similar.
My Dyspraxia Rating: 10/10 (Potentially)

Tillie (The Little Engine that Could ~ 1991 movie adaptation)

Dyspraxic Characters: tillie
I mentioned that Tillie ticks off a few Dyspraxia type attributes. She is an exceptionally hard-working, kind natured, enthusiastic, determined, resourceful, creative and inspirational character. The film is just under half an hour-long, so there isn’t time to develop the character or go into her backstory. During the course of the film, she had a clumsy moment, but this was due to a sudden burst of anticipation and energy – an accident that anyone could have. I’ve also noted that in order for the steam engines to move it takes a good amount of coordination – something that doesn’t seem to affect Tillie at all even when compared to the other 3 steam engines. She is underrated by many of her peers and they constantly tell her that she can’t pull a train due to being too little. This kind of repression is rather similar to how we with dyspraxia have to deal with – just being told that we can’t or are unable to do something without given a chance. The original book was basic and the little engine in it showed no signs of having dyspraxia just a friendly and determined personality, so nothing more can be added.
My Dyspraxia Rating: 1/10

The list is far from complete, so please voice any characters that you feel are missing. As for the current characters, please let me know if you agree or disagree with what I have said – maybe I’ve missed some details out or perhaps you feel I’ve been too generous/not generous enough when scoring a certain character. If so, please let me know what you’ll score them.

How I analyse a character:

Clumsiness is generally what brings people’s or my attention to a potential dyspraxic character first of. Therefore the first factor I take into account is the reasoning behind any and all of the clumsy moments that character has. If it’s only to advance the plot or plot device (for example, a character tripping as they run away from a villain) or there’s a distinct pattern (for example, walking into the same box over and over but having no other accidents) then that’s not enough to score high in my books. A character who appears naturally clumsy will get a higher score much more easily. Next, I look into the other dyspraxia type attributes they have (both the positive and negative ones) and build a picture up. Finally, I take note of anything that works against them having dyspraxia and I weigh it all up and then decide on the final score.

The Scoring System

My scoring system isn’t anything complex, but I have my own special rule for character types. The way I see it there are 3 types of character;

1. Cartoon or anthropomorphic characters – They will get a fair bit of flexibility on the scoring due to the fact that the potential traits are limited. I have to imagine what would a dyspraxic cartoon character be like in their cartoon world rather than what a real-life dyspraxic would be like in the cartoon world. I take creative liberties with these characters.

2. Human type characters (like superheroes, wizards, witches etc.) – If we don’t get to see a lot of their ‘standard’ life it is difficult to see the typical day-to-day dyspraxic type struggles and so they will get a little bit of flexibility. They may also be able to overcome difficulties with magic or special powers so I do have to take some creative liberties when deciding on a score. If we get a good insight into the character outside of their non-human type abilities then they will drop into the 3rd category as it’ll be easier to analyse.

3. Actual human characters – They won’t get much special treatment, especially if we get an excellent insight into their daily life and routine. While they’re more than likely to score lower when compared to the other category of characters if they get a high score it’ll be one that is thoroughly earned.

Final Scores

0 = No supporting evidence.
1-2 = Not enough compelling evidence or far too much contradictory evidence against it but some sprinklings of evidence nevertheless
3-4  = Average evidence for it, but just enough evidence against it to knock it below average.
5 = Average and simply cannot decide, would need more information to decide either way.
6-7 = Compelling evidence with some evidence against it.
8-9 = Very compelling evidence may also have minor evidence against it.
10  = Perfect score, the compelling evidence is too overwhelming to ignore.

 

Epilogue and summing it all up 

This page has been really fun to make and I look forward to discovering new characters to write about in the future. I have come to a realisation with this page, that we know that most characters are not made to be Dyspraxic for reasons I have explained already. But sometimes a character is born and are given certain traits that we see a part of us in them. Maybe some of these characters were based off a real-life person who had dyspraxia (maybe known or maybe not) or perhaps fate just smiled upon the creator that day to make such an awesome and special character that would end up impacting us. Any character that is created is a kind of art and all of us perceive art differently so it’s OK to see a character differently to others. We have unique and sometimes unusual ways of connecting with these characters even if there was no intent to make that character dyspraxic but we can feel a strong connection to them on the dyspraxia level and we can welcome them in with open arms and let them help us to reach our greatest potential. Diagnosing characters is often frowned upon but when we turn those characters into our heroes/heroines, which then fills us with immense positivity, motivation, and drive who can wholeheartedly complain? Doesn’t matter who or what that character is, don’t be afraid to idolise them in your mind because as a famous wizard once said:

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

I look forward to hearing more feedback about the many, many characters who you all have found a certain dyspraxic click for.

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