Futures of Disabled Characters

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Futures of Disabled Characters

Post by A Lotta Moms on Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:26 pm

Since Arthur has a way of introducing characters with prominent disabilities on a fairly regular basis, I sometimes ponder just how their teenage and adult lives will turn out based on their conditions and what we've learned about them during the show.  I think some of them have fairly promising futures ahead of them, while others may have very sad and difficult lives once the more understanding world of childhood draws to a close.  Here are some thoughts -

Lydia - I don't think Lydia's lower-body paralysis will much hinder her ability to excel in a majority of professions.  Since she's exceptionally bright, particularly in mathematics, I can see her easily becoming a successful engineer, scientist, or academic of some sort.  Since "appearance discrimination" can unfortunately exist in some fields that are based more on conveying a convincing persona and leading others, she may have an uphill battle in other intellectual professions such as law or executive leadership.  Overall, I think she probably has the best career prospects out of anyone.  When it comes to her romantic life, however, she may face greater difficulty in finding someone who's willing to accept her disability, since it's one that could substantially affect her bedroom ability.

Carl - If Carl was a little less autistic, I might be able to see him entering a detail-oriented profession such as IT, accounting, etc., which many people with Asperger's Syndrome succeed at. However, his condition seems serious enough to prevent him from being able to handle a high-demand career on an emotional level.  As such, I think it's most likely that he'll have to rely on social security and perhaps help from his aging parents in order to survive as an adult, perhaps taking an odd job here and there that's within his capacity.  The good thing is that, for some people who are as far gone as he is, that sort of sheltered life is less threatening than one that's full of life's many unpredictable stresses and wooden giraffes.  I don't see much happening with Carl in terms of relationships, unless he finds someone who shares his condition.  An asexual life may, by the same token, be preferable due to the threatening emotional complexities love can present.

Marina - As I see it, Marina is by far the most tragic of all the disabled characters.  Unlike Lydia, her disability is gravely limiting in terms of the careers she can succeed at, since the highly-competitive, cutthroat professional world has much less sympathy for someone like her.  Her condition will also prevent her from doing most menial manual labor and service jobs, leaving her with few options in life other than collecting social security.  Depending on what the state and federal governments are offering when the time comes, she could well be thrust into a very desperate life indeed.  We've also seen that she can be headstrong and difficult at times.  I could see her becoming even more difficult to deal with as time progresses and she becomes more and more frustrated.  If this drives away her good friends, she'll have an even harder time getting around in the world with no one to hold her arm when she crosses the street.  Sad

Unlike Carl, Marina is ambitious, confident and otherwise normal enough to feel the full weight of her hopes and dreams as they come crashing down upon her.  Unlike Carl, who may prefer a dependent life full of model trains, Marina will have spend her life yearning for the things fate has robbed her of.  She's cute enough to attract fairly normal guys for quick flings, only to be used and thrown away if she starts to develop feelings for them because "nobody wants to marry a blind girl."  As such, she would have to endure tasting only a cruel, brief sip of love before having the cup yet again pulled away from her.  



I hate to say it, but I think Marina has a very high chance of committing suicide before she hits thirty.  No
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Re: Futures of Disabled Characters

Post by Snowth Poogle on Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:39 pm

As much as Marina's into literature, she could probably make a career for herself as an author, even if she occasionally has to have assistance from someone ghost-writing for her.

Rather than taking a dark and desperate route, I think Marina could very well have a successful life and career for herself despite being blind... look at Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and even Chuck Close; the former two have given the world wonderful music, while the latter has painted some really impressive portraits of various different well-known people.

I agree though, I think Lydia would probably be the least likely not to make because of her handicap; again, looking at my own wheelchair-bound friend, he's into animation, and is actually attending a well-known animation university and hopes to get work for an animation company some day.

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Re: Futures of Disabled Characters

Post by A Lotta Moms on Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:35 pm

Ideally, I'd also like to see Marina have a happier future since she's one of my favorite secondary characters.  At first, I thought that perhaps some sort of consulting or knowledge-based job would be a good fit for her, but backed off from the idea because in working reality, so much of what those jobs require involves quick, ongoing written communication, memorandums, etc., or analyzing large volumes of documents that most likely would not be written in Braille.

Hopefully, her state/city will have some sort of a program for disabled individuals that could find her a more limited type of job somewhere.
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Re: Futures of Disabled Characters

Post by Kerry9Story on Sat Oct 18, 2014 4:20 pm

shits sad
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Re: Futures of Disabled Characters

Post by Snowth Poogle on Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:50 am

I was looking back on my old school days growing up, and I got to thinking that we've been discussing the possible futures of the disabled characters, but when I think about it, I'm a little concerned about the very near future for each other them, because in another two or three years (that is, if they were to ever grow up), they'll have to face the beginning of a three-year period of torment: middle school.

Elementary school is close-knit and cozy: all the kids know each other, you grow up with each other, so there's virtually little to know problems whatsoever... all that changes once you reach middle school, though; middle school is merciless, and any kids who have even the slightest difference from the "normal" will be looking at all kinds of teasing, torment, ridicule, and downright bullying because of it. I can see that happening with the disabled characters. Sad

Lydia, I'm not sure, but I get the feeling she'll probably receive the least amount of bullying in middle school over her disability... that's not to say that wheelchair-bound kids aren't on the receiving end of any kind of torment, because I know they are, and I'm sure she may receive a passing comment or too about her inability to walk like everyone else, but I don't know... she seems to come off as little more sympathetic because she's in a wheelchair, and as such, I think many others will initial want to feel sorry for her, rather than give her a hard time.

Given Carl's obsessive compulsive personality, I can see that making him a target for others, and he'll probably be on the receiving end of a lot of verbal harassment. His extreme attention to detail won't go unnoticed by others, who will probably openly mock him for knowing so many pertinent little details about trains, rockets, kites, or anything like that, and some may even intentionally start arguments with him just to see him get upset... and when he does get upset, that's going to open the floodgates even more, and then he'll receive even more torment from others. As he grows older, his favorite passtimes will probably also be called into question, and he'll probably end up being razzed by others for being immature, or needing to grow up (trust me, by the time I was in Grade 8, suddenly, watching cartoons made you immature).

Whereas Carl's torment might be mostly verbal, I think Marina's will be mostly physical; I'm sure you might get the occasional zinger of distasteful blind comments, but I think she would mostly be on the receiving end of hallway trippings, table toppings, pencil jabbings, stinging hornets, and maybe even sexual harassment from boys looking under her skirt (every instructional video of middle school they showed us in Grade 5 touched on that). Though she does have athleticism in her favor, and once others see she's just as good as her peers when it comes to soccer and gymnastics, that'll earn her a little more respect, but it probably won't be able to make the torment go away completely.

I think for their own sake - particularly Carl and Marina - their parents ought to seriously consider pulling them out of public school before they move on to Grade 6, and look into home schooling them, or enrolling them in private school.

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Re: Futures of Disabled Characters

Post by WatteauMasterDetective on Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:57 pm

I can agree with Carl's chances of being a target because I'm autistic like him (just not as serious as he is) and I have been a target many times. But if Carl can have backup from George and the others then I think Carl can do anything, just as I have done.

At least that's my opinion.
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Re: Futures of Disabled Characters

Post by Snowth Poogle on Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:13 pm

It's an interesting case with kids like this. On the one hand, they'll have people in their camp telling them they need to stand up for themselves and not let others bring them down like that, however, there's also others in their camp as well telling them not to do that, because then they're just asking for it.

I guess it depends on the situation and the people as to whether having backup from George and others would really help Carl or not. I'm not disabled, but I was one of the fat kids, and I can't remember if having backup ever really helped me or not. In fact, it may be something of a good thing that Binky has a bully streak, it might prevent him from being bullied in middle school since he's on the bulky side as well.

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Re: Futures of Disabled Characters

Post by A Lotta Moms on Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:34 am

Good points about how callous teenagers can be during middle school.  Home schooling or a school for students with similar disabilities would indeed be a good option for Carl and Marina.  I'd imagine they'd both at least be separated from a majority of students at some point anyway due to the differences in teaching styles that would be required for them.  With Marina, for instance, a very different set of procedures and materials would likely be required for her instruction.  A school devoted to that purpose would be best suited for her, both socially and academically.  The downside is, that while it may decrease bullying, it would also expose her to a smaller pool of students to socialize and become friends with - including people like Prunella. Crying or Very sad
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Re: Futures of Disabled Characters

Post by Snowth Poogle on Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:55 am

Not necessarily. You know, even homeschooling has actually classes you can attend, called Co-Ops: they're basically like ordinary classes you might find in a public school. I was homeschooled during my high school years, and while I did do a lot of my courses at home, there were some classes my mom felt would better suit me to be taught by actual teachers. I had the same personal math tutor all four years (I swear, I hate math so much, but he made it so much more bearable and tolerable, he was like a grandfather to me), but each year I also usually had a science class, and at least one elective (Flash animation for a couple of years), and as I said, you're in a classroom with other students as well, so it's not like you're totally isolated from other kids to socialize with... heck, I met one of my best friends attending these Co-op classes. I ever met a kid who was like the descendant of Eddie Haskell in one of these classes (no foolin', lol).

So, I'm sure their parents would probably look into that as well, particular if there are any subjects they may feel they aren't able to teach, or feel aren't suitable to be taught at home... and homeschooling has social functions as well, like proms and formals and such; I went to one when I was a senior: the first and only time in my entire life I ever wore a suit (I'm more of a casual male myself). Razz

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Re: Futures of Disabled Characters

Post by Snowth Poogle on Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:08 pm

I saw a commercial on TV earlier today, then found an extended version of it on YT, and it really gives you an idea of what Marina's life might be like as an adult, and while it does discuss a disorder that blind people can face (and it's interesting, because I've often wondered if blind people's internal sense of time of day worked differently than sighted people), it comes off as pretty positive, and maybe hopefully Marina can enjoy a life like this into adulthood - even though, like Moms pointed out, studies suggest that blind people are more likely to attempt suicide than sighted people.


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Re: Futures of Disabled Characters

Post by ArthurFrancineFan on Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:39 pm

Uh Ray charles was a drug addict and ladies man for a long time.....
He eventually stopped but yeah just saying!!!
I think she would sometimes get really pissed off with her disability.

Since al ot of us on here do have a forum of Mental health disability, myself included which is why I am mentioning it, I think we have times when its like the bane of my existence. Pills, counseling, doctors visits, support groups, the psychiatrist then the doctor again and higher doses of pills.
Some times its just never ending.....
Maybe they could have an episode where a character has bipolar/mood disorder or a personality disorder other than cousin Mo who is just meant to be "Crazy" when it appears theres a multiple personality disorder there.
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Re: Futures of Disabled Characters

Post by Snowth Poogle on Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:47 pm

If Marina ever wants to cure her blindness, she better start saving her pennies, because it looks like a brand new drug for curing blindness will be coming with a very, very hefty price:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2018/01/03/spark-therapeutics-sets-price-of-blindness-curing-gene-therapy-at-850000/amp/

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Re: Futures of Disabled Characters

Post by ArthurFrancineFan on Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:25 pm

Luxturna eh??
850,000 for both eyes!!!
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Re: Futures of Disabled Characters

Post by A Lotta Moms on Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:11 am

Damn, let's hope that career as a bestselling novelist takes off for her. Either that, or she could always try selling Prunie on the black market. I'm sure one Saudi prince or another would be happy to pay top dollar for an honest-to-goodness gypsy fortuneteller.
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Re: Futures of Disabled Characters

Post by Guest on Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:58 pm

A Lotta Moms wrote:Damn, let's hope that career as a bestselling novelist takes off for her.  Either that, or she could always try selling Prunie on the black market.  I'm sure one Saudi prince or another would be happy to pay top dollar for an honest-to-goodness gypsy fortuneteller.
Marina as a criminal dealer... I can see that, and she'd have the shades to boot! Smile

As for the others, Carl may seem a little frail now, but he could grow more stable over time. I think if not an IT field, maybe a train historian? Museum tour guide? Both seem like jobs that would be awesome for an up-and-coming train expert!

Lydia would be a great mathematician. I think if she went forward pursuing a STEM career, she'd be hella successful! She could also be a community role model, helping kids to rise above their disabilities to do what they like, like she does with basketball.

Marina is difficult, but I agree with a lot of the posts that say writer. Maybe a fantasy author, given her love of Harry Potter, I mean, Henry Skreever.

Thing is, people with disabilities can not only survive, but thrive given the right work environment. I hope they all lead successful and happy lives in their future.

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