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How Groot Helped a Child With Dyspraxia Learn to Speak


I love making movies because of stories like this. Thank you.

Posted by James Gunn on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dyspraxia, a condition that affects a child’s motor functions, can sometimes affect a child’s ability to enunciate, making it difficult for them to communicate. That was the case for Josh Dunlap’s son, Sawyer, who recently shared a story on Facebook with James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy. In the story, he says that his son is affected with this condition, but after watching Guardians, he began to notice a few positive changes in his son’s behavior. More than that, he noticed that Sawyer latched onto a specific character whose odd manner of speech helped him communicate better: Groot.

In the full Facebook post, Dunlap said:

He began to mimic him and he would use the word “Bah” for a lot, but after he saw the film, he would change the tone in which he said it to convey a different meaning. He would also start saying Groot for many things as well.

From there, they’ve moved on to speech classes, and he’s been slowly getting better at communicating. Gunn responded in a comment, saying:

I have many friends who get a lot of negative messages online – I’m very grateful for the huge, vast majority of positive and kind people who follow me here, on Twitter, and Instagram. I get to hear stories like this, and then read all the amazing comments [below]. Truly wonderful.

Saving the galaxy, one child at a time. You go, Groot.

groot dance

(via Uproxx)

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.