1. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Can anyone think of a disability that fits this criteria?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by agentkirb, Oct 5, 2011.

    Basically, I was wondering if a disability exists that would make it hard (but not impossible) for someone write... or indirectly make it hard (but not impossible) for them to take a written test of some kind. The first thing that came to mind was something related to arthritis. However it would have to be something that can affect someone in their twenties, and it can't be too debilitating to the point where they can't do anything else (specifically, using a computer, opening/closing doors, etc). And it has to be something that someone could hide and isn't too obvious (like... your hand being blown off).
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    If you use arthritis, that can be a severely crippling consequence of some auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, which can certainly affect people in their 20s.
     
  3. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is the disability central to the story or is it being used as a plot device/means to achieve something?

    You have to be careful here because disability is one area where people find it hard to overcome their ignorance regarding how various disabilities affect people. You will have to do a LOT of research to make it authentic, especially if the person reading your story has the condition you're writing about.
     
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  4. another wasted day
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    another wasted day Member

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    ADD maybe? If you have difficulty concentrating it's very hard to write. I would know. Maybe you're looking for something physical, in that case I don't know.
     
  5. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    I'll try to fill you in on the idea I was working at:

    The idea is that the main character of the story meets someone that over time becomes important to the storyline. Said supporting character is someone in his mid-twenties, very computer savvy, very "normal" (as in, there isn't anything OBVIOUSLY wrong with him). The main character through a series of events notices something a little off about this new guy. For example, maybe when they were trying to write directions to some location... he could tell this guy goes out of his way to not write it down, either by getting someone else to do it for him or using some kind of Ipad-esque touch screen device. And then eventually it comes out that he has this disability that keeps him from being able to easily write.

    Obviously this isn't the main plot to the story, more of a side-plot. But there ends up being a point to the whole chain of events.

    ---------- Post added at 06:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:40 PM ----------

    That's a possibility. The only reason I'm hesitant to use it is it's so easily treatable. Unless there is some version of ADD that I haven't heard of. I was thinking along the lines of mental disabilities at things like Dyslexia, but it would have to be something that you can't just take a pill to counteract the symptoms.
     
  6. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I'd second arthritis, or perhaps third-degree burn wounds that damaged part of the hand (but that would probably be more obvious than what you want). Or perhaps paralysis in the index finger/thumb?
     
  7. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Hmmm... paralysis in the finger/thumb of his writing hand might work too. In theory someone could type with 8 fingers without being too obvious. But what incidents would cause such a condition?
     
  8. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just FYI, ADHD is definitely not "so easily treatable". Medication is just a start, not an instant happy cure. However, it also wouldn't make it hard to just write down something quick and simple like directions, so it's probably not useful.

    Dyslexia would work, IMO, if the person didn't have to be terribly skilled at computer use. So would plain old illiteracy - there are a fair number of people who grow up illiterate, for whatever reason, and successfully conceal it in adulthood. And while it can be "cured", it's certainly not a quick cure. But it would also make computer use a problem.

    ChickenFreak
     
  9. EMSchell2009
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    EMSchell2009 Member

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    My daughter has sensory deprivation disorder. Her version makes it incredibly difficult to write because she cannot gauge how hard to press, how long to hold the pen to paper etc. THis could be the simple ticket youa re looking for. Writing for her is exhausting so she types. Not everyone who is affectd with this disorder is affected the same way, but it could be most helpful to you.
     
  10. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    That's an idea. Is it called just Sensory Deprivation Disorder or does it have another scientific name? I might have to look that one up, thanks.
     
  11. EMSchell2009
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    EMSchell2009 Member

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    It is on the autism spectrum and is a very high functioning version in many ways she is much like anyone else. It has a more common name I can't remember and I am not sure of what the scientific name is, but yes that is what it is called.
     
  12. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Do you know of any good websites/books on this disorder? I'm googling it right now and getting a few decent bits of information here and there. I'm thinking something in the autism spectrum might be what I'm looking for.
     
  13. EMSchell2009
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    EMSchell2009 Member

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    Most of what I know I have learned from experience, and what little the doctors give me. I am happy to answer anything you want to know. The writing thing is a major drawback for her. It makes notetaking hard, she has a scribe at school. It embarasses her. If she could get along without the scribe she would probably try. She has to have an aide at this age, but I am told that as time progresses she will be able to overcome that. She also had to learn the meaning of personal space. She had to learn that when someone backs away from you you are in thier bubble and that you need to back off. I am told that as an adult SDDer's ar often a bit more introverted and socially awkward than thier peers, but tend to be very smart and focussed on thier field of interest. Our vet is SDD. Ironically that is what Elizabeth wants to be when she grows up. SDD sufferers tend to be socially awkward throughout life. For this reason they often take jobs working with animals or in labs. Many of them suffer from the same writing problem as Elizabeth and tend to favor computers and other forms of written communication. ei. our vets office was one of the first to switch to computerized records.
     
  14. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    OCD could be interesting.


    Every other word must be erased and re-written or something along the lines.
     
  15. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    I do have a few questions:

    1. When would you say does SDD gets diagnosed by a doctor in the average case? Is it something that at the age of 3 parents are like "there is definitely something wrong here", or is it something that might not be caught by a doctor until perhaps age 10 or 15 even?
    2. Is it genetic? My guess is "no"... but might as well ask. On a related note is it the type of thing you are born with or does some kind of event that triggers it?
    3. Do you know if everyone is effected to the same degree or are there different levels where certain people are "more SDD" than others?
    4. Why do you think SDDer's are more often introverted/socially awkward?

    Thank you for helping me out.

    ---------- Post added at 10:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:59 PM ----------

    That's a good idea, but I think that it would be noticeable.
     
  16. EMSchell2009
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    EMSchell2009 Member

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    1.I think that it would be diagnosed at a young age UNLESS the child does not produse anger as the result of frustration from the SDD. It wasn't long ago when an SDDer may be considered the "odd" kid or family member and NOT be diagnosed at all.

    2. It is not genetic. I believe that my daughter's case and that of several other kids I am aware of is a result of immunizations, but that is a whole other story and probably too controversial for a book with another focus. Many scientists believe it may be triggered when a body who can't handle it is exposed to heavy metals.

    3. There are differing degrees. Some have a harder time relating to people. Some show more temper and become more frustrated with thier differences than others. Some have a harder time with writing than others. One thing you learn quickly with all forms of autism is there really is no "set norm".

    4. SDDer's are characterized by having a hard time socially. They are not necessarily introverted, simply "hiding" for lack of a better word from social situations. A SDDer has to learn everything about every social situation. There are no natural ques that they simple "have". A SDDer simply has to learn everything socially and it is harder for them to process. A good example is that Elizabeth hugs EVERYONE even complete strangers and she will hug forever. This being said we had to create the 30 second rule, which stands except on rare occassions, it means she has to count to 30 and then let go. She also had to learn to ask strangers if hugging was OK. Another earmark of an SDDer is that they have to learn body awareness. This makes them clumsier than the average kid. As they get older they learn to be less clumsy, but it is still a common issue. So generally they tend to seek out situations where they have less contact with people to avoid feeling awkward. This is not to say this is true in all cases.

    I hope this helps.
     
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  17. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    Dyslexic maybe? I hate how they make that word so hard to spell. Generly dyslexics have horrible hand writing. But it also brings along a boat load of other things depending on degree
     
  18. Kash
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    Kash Member

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  19. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    I haven't heard of Huntington's effecting someone in their twenties that badly. I might have to check out the out the other two you brought up.

    Perhaps. I heard Jay Leno has it, so it sounds like something you could reasonably hide from a person that doesn't know you that well for a couple of months. I'll have to check that out too.
     
  20. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    Dementia.

    I am being serious. Sometimes the obvious route is not the right route.
     
  21. cobaltblue
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    cobaltblue Member

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    The characters hand could have been injured leaving nerve damage. I know a friend of a friend whose hand was jammed in an automatic door at work and she ended up with nerve damage. Her hand looks absolutely normal, except for times when it hurts and she tends to hold it differently. On good days she has almost full use of her hand, on bad days she can't hold a cup or a pen, can't fasten buttons etc
    She had surgery and continues to have physical therapy to maintain as much use as possible and minimize the bad days.

    hth,
    Blue
     
  22. Androxine Vortex
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    Androxine Vortex Member

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    Well I can tell you from experience that you could say Led Poisoning.
    My old friend had led poison in him so when he didnt take his medication he would get flustered on test days at school and then because he didnt know the answer to a qustion, he would begin to get angry and because of the poison not be able to calm down. He would get so upset that at points he would jsut give up.

    Of course when he did take his medicene he was fine but maybe you could make the character forget his pills?
    Good luck!
     
  23. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    I wonder if something like this wouldn't be the easiest way to explain why they have a hard time writing. But they still need to have enough function to be able to type. So maybe if I just go "nerve damage" and kind of leave it at that without going into a long detailed explanation of medically what is going on... it sounds plausable and realistic enough IMO.
     
  24. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    If you do keep it very general, you'll want to make sure you mention it as "Mild" Nerve Damage. If I hear "Nerve Damage," I immediately think Disability, as in no feeling in the arm. With a "Mild Nerve Injury," say, from some childhood accident (hand got run over by a bycicle or something? Just a thought), you have the option of it intensifying if you need it to.
     
  25. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Well, the way I planned on unfolding it is that the MC notices after maybe half a year of hanging out with this guy that he doesn't like to write things down... preferring to type on his computer instead. And of course in this day and age with texting and Iphones and all that, he is able to thrive without TOO much difficulty.
     

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