Learning To Use Your Hands: Surgeon Simulator & Disability

Learning To Use Your Hands: Surgeon Simulator & Disability

What happens when a funny game just reminds you of the difficulties you have in everyday life?

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Great article and I wanted to say I empathize with the handwriting comment.

I was born left handed but forced to use my right hand to write when I was growing up. The upside is that I'm fairly ambidextrous. The downside is that I barely made it through elementary English classes where you were scored on penmanship. To this day I cannot write legibly in cursive. My normal print is only good for a while, but then it tends to devolve after a few paragraphs. It's stressful. I feel blessed to be living in the world of keyboards, (but even typos plague me there) but I still feel saddened that I cannot -write- something that someone else can read..

Fascinating Article. Thank you for sharing this unique perspective

Not really sure what else to say; it was touching

I really enjoyed this article. I don't think I've read a more fascinating personal experience with video games.

It took a little getting used to but I got top ratings for all the surgeries in SS, even the ones in the back of a moving ambulance.

Reading this article is like looking in the mirror.

I've never been able to write legibly. It started out fairly innocuously. I couldn't get my letters right. They were too big, too small, backwards, squiggly in the parts where they were supposed to be straight and vice versa. While others were advancing into cursive I was still struggling along just trying to get my printing straight.

My teachers were baffled. I had NO problems reading. I was reading at a level several grades higher then the other kids, and at a voracious pace. I would devour my school books. Math, History, Science, Literature. The subject didn't matter. I opened my mind and just poured it in. My reading comprehension and retention were off the scale. I also tested extremely high in Standardized Testing. I was not mentally challenged. Far from it. So, WHY couldn't I write?

In 3rd grade my parents had had enough. They took me to the local children's hospital to be tested. I was diagnosed with Severe Dysgraphia, Dyslogia, Expressive Writing Disorder, and of course ADHD. Being as this was the mid 80's, even with the diagnosis my local public school had no clue what to do with me. So they did NOTHING except drug me with Ritalin. I was placed in normal classes and given normal assignments geared for normal children.

I floundered. I failed. I was teased, tortured, and bullied by my "peers" with a relentless tenacity only hungry predators and school children are capable of. I introverted to the point of being socially reclusive. My grades plummeted. I no longer saw the point of even trying to pass my classes. The only reason I ever passed a class was because I would ace the finals.

In middle school, I found my saving grace.


I was smitten immediately. The fact my hands refused to scrawl out those damnable lines and shapes to the satisfaction of my scholastic taskmasters no longer mattered. The words flowed almost directly out of my mind and onto the screen as if by magic. Then they were printed onto paper in pure mechanical perfection.

Getting my teachers to accept printed assignments took some convincing. Keep in mind, this is still the early 90's. Computers were still a "New" thing in schools. Most teachers were still a bit old-fashioned and preferred them to be written. However a little haranguing by my parents straightened that out. Eventually it simply became the standard practice.

All did not end happily though. The past failures and mistreatment had taken it's toll. I continued to take issue with the reams of homework my teachers would send home everyday. (I still consider homework to be archaic and useless as a teaching tool.) For the most part I still only passed classes because I scored perfectly on the tests and finals.

I never "Graduated" High School. My senior year I failed English Composition. (Shock!) I refused to give that institution another year of my life. My ability to ace tests came to my rescue once again. I went to another school in the area, took their GED test, walked out with an Honors Diploma, and never looked back.

a very interesting article and comments as well. i used to take things for granted using my hands and after a wrong diagnosis initially the specialist eventually told me i have rheumatoid arthiritis.

ive never been more frustrated at not being able to pick up and use a pen or knife and fork and ive had many smashed cups, etc from frustration so i can understand how that could be a very personal experience for some people


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