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Special Needs on the Big Screen

“I wasn’t emotionally prepared for that,” is what my husband Randy said after we had a chance to watch a sneak preview of the Dolphin Tale movie in 3D. But the kids were ready and happy to enjoy the experience.

As a parent of a child who has COMPLETELY bought into her personal connection with Winter the Dolphin, this movie was special. As a parent of a child with a difference, this movie was special. We got to follow a fictional version of how Winter got hurt and recovered with the help of a prosthetic tail. It is tender and kind and I got weepy at least three or four times. Winter is special to our family and every parent I have ever talked to with a special needs kid of any type (with or without limb differences) who knows about Winter feels the same way. She represents overcoming a challenge and surviving with the help of those who care around her.

I feel incredibly lucky to have met Kevin Carroll who was a big part of making the prosthetic tail for Winter. He’s the reason Jordan really feels a special connection after the Hanger Company (where Carroll works) gave Jordan a stuffed Winter and a children’s book about her story. There’s a quick video at the end where you can see him. Jordan looked away at the moment and was really bummed to have missed it. Here’s her review:

Another wonderful thing about the movie was the special connections we find through differences. Jordan proudly carried her dolphin to the movie and we met another girl who was there with one. The girl has met Winter many times and told the kids touching the dolphin is like touching slick plastic. We also had a Born Just Right friend come to the movie with us. It’s always so awesome to be able to celebrate our differences together! Dolphin Tale was special to us because we do have a close connection to her… And watching the audience full of people living a more “typical life” have a chance to understand why our connection is meaningful is a powerful experience in its own right.


  1. Melissa on September 19, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to take Ella to see this. It starts here this weekend.

    • Jen Lee Reeves on September 19, 2011 at 7:00 am

      We really really loved it and I expect we’ll see it again sometime next month!

  2. Frelle on September 19, 2011 at 7:53 am

    I loved reading about her connection to Winter, and thank you so much for sharing this night with us!

  3. An experience of a lifetime | Born Just Right on November 2, 2011 at 7:36 am

    […] book all the time and Jordan has taken Winter all over the place. The toy sat next to Jordan while we watched the Dolphin Tale movie last […]

  4. […] Special Needs on the Big Screen […]

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