A Dad Told The Director Of "Guardians Of The Galaxy" That Groot Changed His Son's Life
Josh Dunlap sent the movie's director a heartwarming Facebook message about how it changed his son's life.
As we all know, Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy doesn't have a lot to say for himself.
But for one little boy, he proved quite the inspiration.
This is Sawyer, son of Josh Dunlap, 31, who lives in Las Vegas with his wife, Natasha, and two other children.
And yesterday, Dunlap sent James Gunn, the movie's director, a message about how Groot had impacted on his son.
He explained that Sawyer has dyspraxia, which affects both his speech and his motor skills. He wrote:
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 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.
Dunlap said that as a result of the improvement he was "finally able to go to a speech class," which he said "helped amazingly".
He concluded: "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."
Gunn shared Dunlap's post on his Facebook page.
And it soon turned out that Sawyer's story wasn't entirely unique.
A woman named Shannon Culler told Gunn that her son, who had been diagnosed with autism, had also "connected" with Groot. She said: "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...'"
Dunlap told BuzzFeed that he "cannot count" how many times Sawyer has watched the film.
"It used to be all he ever watched," he said. Dunlap told us that Sawyer "started mimicking Chris Pratt in the movie, constantly doing the dance he does at the beginning." It turns out he's also a fan of dinosaurs, and apparently loves Jurassic World.
He told BuzzFeed the speech class has had an "amazing" effect: "My wife has dyspraxia and couldn't get help until she was 6," he said. He described the effect on Sawyer as "leaps and bounds".
"He tries to string words together now and words are still an issue," Dulap said. "He cannot say R's very well. But there has been a vast improvement."