You may not know that October is Dwarfism Awareness Month. The LPA (Little People of America) initiated the plan to declare October Dwarfism Awareness Month in hopes to raise positive awareness around dwarfism, address common misconceptions, and increase opportunities for people with dwarfism around the country. Dwarfism occurs in 1/10,000 births. There are still many adversities little people face today.
|With my bro who calls me "big little sis" since I am older but have been shorter than him since he was like 7|
|Me with some new friends at the Nashville LPA Convention in 2010|
Facts about my dwarfism:
- I have Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia (say that 3 times real fast) which is a genetic disorder that affects bone growth and causes curvature of the spine.
- Like 80% of most dwarves, I was born of average height parents. I am the only little person in my family history.
- I can pass it on to my child. If I have a child with an average height person then it's 50/50 chance for being a little person. If I have a child with another little person then the chances increase.
- I've had 11 corrective surgeries in my lifetime (I'm 27 now) with more to come. I'm already dealing with early stages of arthritis which will only get worse with age. Many LPs including SEDs have hip replacement surgery in their early 30s. We never really stop having surgeries unfortunately.
- I stopped growing in the 5th grade. I was 3'11" but had surgery to straighten my legs in high school so I gained an inch! At 4 feet, my nephews are sure to be taller than me by kindergarten.
- Just because you're under 5 feet, it doesn't mean you are a little person. You can call yourself short but being a little person isn't only about being short. One of my pet peeves! Being medically classified a little person or dwarf carries a lot of medical burdens that most average people don't face.
- The word midget is NOT okay. The word is derogatory and should never be used lightly (as much as I love Stefon). There are many other terms to use to be more politically correct: little person, dwarf, short-stature.
Some helpful facts:
|Fact sheet via LPA Facebook page|
Hopefully I was able to educate you about dwarfism since many people don't understand or have the wrong information. If you know any single little people dudes, I'm available!