Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Movies! -by Neil McVilly

I watched Rosie's video on Youtube "Accomodating and managing cognitive variance" (*click on it to view*)

This got me thinking about a long-standing issue I've had, more marked in my earlier years, but I still struggle with a little bit at times.
As a child, I seemed to have a lot of trouble following and keeping up with the plot when watching certain types of movies. I don't recall any trouble with simple tv programs like cartoons, Sesame Street or Playschool or TV soaps of my era (Family Ties, Neighbours, etc)
 It was the movies with more intricate plots or a lot of fast dialogue that proved the most challenging.

It may be worth mentioning I am short-sighted and did not get glasses until early high school. Possibly this may have compounded my processing challenges even after getting glasses and learning how to put my improved eyesight to good use.

Mum was puzzled and at times driven up the wall by my incessant questions during movies. 
What's happening?  Which lady is the bad/evil lady?  Where are they going now?  Was that the same man he was talking to before or is that a new man? 

Mum could not understand whether the problem was poor attention or some other processing issue and to this day I am not sure what the cause was or why things have gotten a lot easier as an adult. 

One strategy which helped me a lot was re-watching some shows my sister taped on our video recorder.   I would usually re-watch the show on my own without distraction from others and might need to rewind parts until I picked up all the dialogue and put it into context.  It would also help me get my head around the more intricate parts of the plot, with a few twists and turns, or more complex social interactions.

As a final note, I've enjoyed revisiting some of my childhood movies many years later, not only to take a trip down memory lane, but to see how much I missed as a child!   I now have the advantage of maturity which helps to understand more complex social interactions which went totally over my head as a child. 

My computer allows me to replay videos very easily, I can "cheat" on IMDB if I need a little help following a more intricate plot, or google for a history lesson or whatnot.  If I feel inclined, I can also download English subtitles for movies which seem to help me with verbal processing when there is a lot of fast talking dialogue.   

In any case, movie watching has become a fun hobby in my leisure time :)
I'd be very interested to hear if others have experienced similar challenges.

-Neil McVilly

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