How 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Helped 4-Year-Old With Motor Skill Issues

Director James Gunn shares an amazing story.

ByMICHAEL ROTHMAN
August 19, 2015, 3:08 PM
PHOTO: This image released by Disney - Marvel shows Chris Pratt in a scene from "Guardians Of The Galaxy."
This image released by Disney - Marvel shows Chris Pratt in a scene from "Guardians Of The Galaxy."
Disney - Marvel/AP Photo

— -- "Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn shared today an amazing story on how his film helped a 4-year-old boy with motor skill issues.

Josh Dunlap shared his son Sawyer's story with Gunn on Facebook to which the director replied, "I love making movies because of stories like this."

Dunlap said his son lives with Dyspraxia, which WebMD states "is recognized as a learning difficulty affecting some skills and abilities." Dunlap said it hampers Sawyer's motor skills and speech.

"When Guardians came out Sawyer could only say about three words and would communicate to his mother and I by other means. When he saw Groot, something clicked inside him and he connected with him on a level I haven't seen," he wrote to Gunn.

As most "Guardian" fans know, Groot is only able to say "I am Groot" in the film. The character voiced by Vin Diesel doesn't use any other words to speak.

"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," Dunlap wrote. "He would also start saying Groot for many things as well. Since that, he was finally able to go to a speech class and it has helped amazingly. I just wanted to thank you though, for a script and movie that was written so well that a four year old, three at that time, could connect with someone who had the same language barrier."

After posting the incredible story, Dunlap commented on Gunn's Facebook page.

"My wife and I are in complete shock right now...never expected James gunn to even see the post let alone reply. Thanks everyone for your kind words....wow," the father wrote.

Gunn replied, writing, "Truly wonderful."

Right after Dunlap's story caught fire on social media, a mother, Shannon Culler, shared a similar tale.

"My son was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 years old and of course at the time we were devastated. Flash forward a few years to sitting side by side with him at the 'GoG' premier here in Thailand and watching him connect with it. Absolute joy for both of us and yes there were tears. I never imagined him shouting from the backseat of our car to please play the soundtrack again and listening to him singing along to 'Oooh child...'" she wrote.

The director immediately replied with all smiley faces.

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