Dyspraxic Characters

Dyspraxic Characters

Dyspraxia hardly gets a mention in entertainment media, but seeing how it is fairly unknown it doesn’t come as a complete surprise. Connecting with a character who has similar struggles is quite a surreal and awesome thing. So when there are characters who share certain traits with us we can’t help but stop and smile and even root for them.

This page is dedicated to as many of these characters as possible, whether their dyspraxia game is strong or they only have a couple of small traits. This chapter is dedicated to those characters who are confirmed dyspraxics and those who have the dyspraxia traits. I will try to not give away unnecessary detail about the franchise they appear in, but just in case potential spoilers ahead! Just to be clear the potential Dyspraxic Characters are my own opinion so it’ll probably differ to your own, but feel free to voice your own opinion whether you agree or disagree with my statements. If you’re ready, let’s crack on!

Confirmed Dyspraxic Characters

None to report yet but watch this space!

Potential Dyspraxic Characters

Here’s the complete list of all scoring and unscored characters. Even those who score low, as my final score of a character is my personal opinion it would be unfair to dismiss those who don’t score favourably:

Top Scoring Dyspraxic Characters (Score: 4+)

Tonks (Harry Potter) ~ 9
Mr Bump (Mr Men) ~ 9
Miranda (Miranda) ~ 9
Warrior (Tugs) ~ 8
Tyson (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters) ~ 8
Homer Simpson (The Simpsons) ~ 7
Angela Cross (Ratchet and Clank 2) ~ 6
Neville Longbottom (Harry Potter) ~ 5
Mr. Bean (Mr. Bean) ~ 4

Honorary Dyspraxic Characters (Score 1-3 & Unscored)

Bella (The Twilight Saga) ~ Unscored
Errol (The Weasley’s Pet Owl) ~ 2
Cassandra Alexandra (Soul Edge/Soul Calibur Series) ~ 2
Harry Potter (Film version) ~ 1
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 add 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.

I use my Dyspraxia Symptoms table (Click here to view) as a guideline for my analysis but it is difficult to analyse a character fully so I had to take certain liberties.
There are 5 key areas that I concentrate on:

+ Co-ordination/Clumsiness
+ Thought and Memory
+ Emotions/Behaviour
+ Perception of senses
+ Speech/Language

If a character shows any of the positive type traits (Click here to view) then I’ll bring it up but it’s for reference only and doesn’t affect the overall score.

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

Related image

Ah, Mr. Bump the cartoon embodiment of clumsiness – there isn’t enough space to list all of his accidents!! While all characters within the series have had 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 dyspraxic-like tendencies on occasion like getting lost, breaking things, and having problems with coordination. He’s a good problem solver too and can turn 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 either. In my opinion, if dyspraxia had a cartoon personification it would turn out something very like Mr. Bump.
My Dyspraxia Rating: 9/10

Warrior (Tugs TV series)

Dyspraxic Characters: Warrior Tugs
Warrior is clumsy and accident-prone throughout the entirety of the Tugs TV show; he is the first character I found myself relating to on what I now call the ‘dyspraxia level’.
Some examples of what accidents he has gotten up to:

+ Bumped into several boats
+ Caused a barge to sink (Wasn’t strictly his fault though)
+ Lost navigation during a misty night and almost hit some rocks
+ Forget a task he promised to do
+ Tires more easily than the other characters
+ Difficulty in pronouncing and understanding certain words
+ Difficulty in understanding sarcasm and jokes

From bumping into things and sometimes being a bit forgetful Warrior does show several dyspraxia type traits. While other characters get into their own accidents from time to time, Warrior has them beat. On the positive side, he has demonstrated that he can come up with creative ideas and has a very strong will, especially to put things right if he makes a mistake. Warrior being non-human makes it difficult to draw up any more comparisons though. Also, the show only ran for 13 episodes before it was canceled so there isn’t much on the character development side.
My Dyspraxia rating: 8/10

Extra reading: I go into more detail about Warrior on my post here: http://www.dyspraxicfantastic.com/post-109-warrior-the-clumsy-tugboat/ if you wish to read more.

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 how she appeared in the book, which is a shame because she is a popular character amongst fans. 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;

+ Breaking a plate (which acted as her introduction to the series) and other things
+ Knocking over objects
+ Falling down/over things which includes falling over the same umbrella stand on more than one occasion (in the film she simply stumbles over the umbrella stand).

Tonks has admitted to being clumsy in the past, so it is something that happens to her on a regular basis. 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 a potion or spell. Now while having such a gift isn’t linked to dyspraxia (at least as far as I know!) she can lose control over this power when she gets emotional (such as angry or sad) which results in her hair changing 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, which can be explained by events happening in her life but those with dyspraxia are more prone to bouts of depression.

Personality wise, she is an inquisitive person with enthusiasm and has an incredibly strong will. She is fiercely loyal to those around her and is one to help brighten the mood and cheer people up during bleak times. With all these elements combined, Tonks stands out to me as someone who is the best contender in the Harry Potter universe as having dyspraxia. There’s just one shred of doubt that stops her scoring any higher which is her Metamorphmagus ability. With the ability to change physical appearance this could impact spatial awareness due to not constantly having the same body all the time – as an example, being taller will make it so much easier to whack your head if you weren’t used to the height!

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!
J. K. Rowling hasn’t revealed if any of her characters have dyspraxia or not but 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 come to our own conclusion for the time being.

””Harry
” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron-circle”]Tonks makes an appearance in the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery game at the start of the player’s 3rd year. This game isn’t canon but Tonks’ clumsiness has transferred across from the main series, so it is really up to you to decide whether or not the antics and accidents she gets up to in this game can be considered supporting evidence.

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 (Harry Potter series)

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 “Why is it always me?” 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 more than anything. It could well be a co-ordination difficulty but it isn’t confirmed or demonstrated so we can only speculate. Some theories state that it is his wand that is the problem and not directly him, which is an interesting idea and one that I can get behind.
My Dyspraxia rating: 5/10

Harry Potter (Harry Potter series)

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. For me, there is too much conflicting evidence for Harry to score high.
My Dyspraxia Rating (Book): 0/10
My Dyspraxia Rating (Film): 1/10

Errol [The Weasley’s Pet Owl] (Harry Potter series)

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 can say that I wouldn’t rule it out completely, but it is still fairly unlikely nevertheless.
My Dyspraxia Rating: 2/10

Tyson (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters)

PJOImage result for tyson percy jackson

 

 

 

Tyson is a Cyclops and half-brother to the series main protagonist Percy Jackson. I will state now that I have only seen this specific film and haven’t seen any of the other films or read the books so my world-building is limited as well as character development. It was mentioned in this film that Percy Jackson is dyslexic and after some digging, I find he also has ADHD. Through my extensive research, I find out that one of the author’s sons has dyslexia so he wanted to empower dyslexia through the books. The canon reason why characters have dyslexia is too complicated to explain so I’ll leave this link in case you like a detailed explanation:
http://riordan.wikia.com/wiki/Dyslexia

Because dyslexia and ADHD actually exist in this universe it can be safely assumed that dyspraxia also exists. This brings me to Tyson. I remember distinctly that Tyson had a lot of dyspraxia moments that revolved around clumsiness and forgetfulness. Like many others on this list, he also showed a great deal of enthusiasm, determination, and a strong will. Being a cyclops it can be argued that having one eye would explain problems with depth perception and the clumsiness but surely the brain would adapt to this unless there was something like dyspraxia afflicting this character. It’s a factor that does affect the score though. I watched this film once in the cinema (back in 2013) and came out convinced that he has dyspraxia. I even felt that in this film alone Tyson showed more dyspraxic traits than Percy showed dyslexic ones. I will need to investigate more into the series to understand more of this universe; both the original book source and film adaptations to get a full picture. What I need are some more cyclops characters to compare to. I’ll score Tyson on the film Sea of Monsters alone until such time I find out more info. As such, this score may change at some point depending on what new info comes to my attention. Interestingly enough, I was going to write a post about Tyson and my strong feelings that he is dyspraxic after seeing the film, however, I didn’t want to spoil the film seeing how it had just come out I and wasn’t entirely sure how to tackle a topic like this.
My Dyspraxia Rating: 8/10

Miranda (Miranda TV series)

Dyspraxic Characters: miranda

A character that many believe to be dyspraxic. Her clumsiness and awkward tendencies being her biggest 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 in a sketch show, 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 Hart played a character called Barbara who was also clumsy and could well have been a precursor to the title 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 of Homer’s persona. The episode in question is called ‘Homr’ and is the 9th episode of the 12th series. As a result, it could be argued that because of this Homer doesn’t exactly have dyspraxia, rather it would probably be Apraxia* if anything. 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 are counting what Homer has as Apraxia and we are counting 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 (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). The major issue is he has shown incredible strong coordination and dexterity skills which works against him having dyspraxia in my opinion. I decided to take an online assessment on his behalf just to see what springs up, which did include taking certain liberties and making 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 successful and popular game series dating back to the early years of the PlayStation 2. Humour is one of the factors that make this series an enjoyable one to play, which does include moments of slapstick. In the second installment of the franchise a new character was introduced – Angela Cross. During the cutscenes, it shows that she is clumsy such as slipping, falling, banging her head, and other mishaps. She seems to get into more accidents than any other character making her stand out compared to them. Additionally, she has quite the technical and creative mind. The technical mind is more due to her species being incredibly technical minded and are great inventors rather than anything else. She doesn’t appear in any other games so far and her character development is limited to the one game, so it is difficult to build a bigger 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: 6/10

Cassandra Alexandra (Soul Edge/Soul Calibur Series)

SCIII

Cassandra is a character from the popular fighting series Soul Calibur, making her playable debut in Soulcalibur II. She was mentioned in Soul Edge, a previous game in the series (albeit with a translation error of her name being Kathandra), however, she had no character background in it.

Fighting game characters don’t get much of personal development and really their basic story arc is what these games concentrate on. Cassandra is a bit clumsy and could be the most accident-prone character in the series – as 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 tell – perhaps a bit of both. In fighting games 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 them out due to being overpowered. Cassandra is considered a high-to-top tier character so is by no means overpowered. In any case, she doesn’t have any clumsy incorporated attacks or moments during gameplay, so her clumsiness isn’t faked in order to get an advantage over an opponent. Her clumsy moments happen outside of gameplay during the story parts. This fact heavily affects the final score. Taking all characters across the series into account, Cassandra is the most ‘natural’ clumsiest of the bunch but we don’t see enough moments throughout the series to get anything concrete.

Personality wise, she shows fierce loyalty to those around her, especially for her sister, Sophitia. Her determination to succeed and her hard-working mentality with ample courage to do what she feels is right is unquestionable and as such, she can be considered one of the purest characters in the series. After that, this analysis hits a standstill as there’s nothing else to really talk about without any more insight. The foundation is set just in case anything else comes to light in the future that just clicks. The score takes a heavy hit due to the fact that no clumsy moments happen during her gameplay, she can fight successfully without any mishaps. (Except when I play, but that’s with all characters!!)
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 something similar.
My Dyspraxia Rating: 10/10 (Potentially)

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

Dyspraxic Characters: tillie
I mentioned previously that Tillie ticks off a few dyspraxia type attributes, but not enough to properly suggest she is dyspraxic. I’ve included an analysis of Tillie here to show that even with certain traits of dyspraxia it doesn’t automatically mean they get an instant high score and shows how I critique characters.

Tillie 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 much of 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 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 what we with dyspraxia have to deal with – just being told that we can’t or are unable to do something without given a chance. Because her treatment is similar to us with dyspraxia she gets a slight score boost. The original book was basic in premise 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 attention to a potential dyspraxic character. 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 a plot device (for example, a character tripping as they run away from a villain) or there’s a distinct pattern/running joke (walking into the same box over and over but having no other accidents, for example) then that’s not enough to score high in my books. A character who appears naturally clumsy will get a higher score 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. I like to point out that I take all variations of a character into account, seeing how many books get turned into films or TV series, etc. However, if the character is adapted poorly or has significant characteristics changes to such an extent that they become a different character then I judge them separately.

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 and so they can get a benefit of the doubt.

2. Human type characters (like superheroes, wizards, witches etc.) – If we don’t get to see much of their ‘standard’ life it is difficult to see the typical day-to-day dyspraxic type struggles they are potentially afflicted with 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 them.

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 evidence is too overwhelming to ignore.

 

Epilogue: Summing it all up 

This page has been really fun to make and I look forward to discovering new characters to add to this list. I have come to the realisation 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 a character was based off a real-life person with dyspraxia and those traits seeped through into them. On the other hand, maybe 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 form of art and all of us perceive art differently so it’s OK to see a character differently to how others see them. 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. We can welcome these characters 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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