Did you know 80% of people born with dwarfism have average height parents? There is an array of emotions that parents experience upon the moments their child is diagnosed with dwarfism. LPA strives to provide resources locally and nationally to help support parents as they welcome their beautiful LPs into the world. Be sure to check out LPA’s Parents’ Resources Page for more information.
(Borrowed from the Little People of America Facebook page)
There is a quote that says “Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.”
Growing up I spent a lot of time in hospitals or dealing with doctors. My mom, aunt and I would go to little people conventions trying to learn more about my dwarfism. But most of the time we ended up just going to see the cities and have fun. That was the only time we really went on vacations.
Now that I’m older I’m trying to live my life with more adventures and have fun. I want to make as many memories with my nieces and nephews as possible.
LPs are often aware of the stares, the chuckles, or the ever often camera snap. Disability culture is filled with curiosity, we understand that, though it’s how you react to those curiosities that truly matters. If your instinct is to snicker, stare, or pull your children away… stop, educate in that moment, and then carry on. Educating around differences and disabilities encourages an inclusive culture and makes the world a better place.
(Borrowed from the Little People of America Facebook Page)
A year ago today my story made it to the front page of our county paper. A lot of people around town know who I am because I don’t change a whole lot. They see me at the stores or driving around town or at restaurants. Plus a lot of people know my family. So as I tell people “I am famous in a small town.”
When the medical article was released to the world. I e-mailed every local paper and local TV station trying to get someone to cover my story so that I could raise awareness.
The county I live in wrote an article about me and several other county papers shared the story as well. A local TV station saw the newspaper article and e-mailed me about doing a TV interview (which I did). The night of the interview I got off work and rushed home to get ready. As my sister and her kids sat there, along with my brother, they asked “are you nervous?” and I said nope I was ready!
I have 13 nieces and nephews. Usually around the age of 5 when they start to realize they are growing taller than I am- that is when I get the questions. That’s when they ask “Why don’t you grow taller?” “Why am I taller than you now?”
Just like any other child I explain to them that God made me to where I don’t grow taller. But I tell them that I am in fact older than they are.
When I am out in public with my nieces and nephews and they see someone staring at me, they tell me that they see the kids staring but I always love how they say it…”Monica that kids staring at you, why are they staring?” Simply by growing up around me they have learned that everyone is different, but that doesn’t mean we should treat others differently.
Dwarfism occurs in approximately 1 in every 10,000 births. Dwarfism does not discriminate, happening across all cultures and race. There are tens of thousands of individuals with dwarfism living in the US. So when you walk up to the next LP that looks vaguely familiar, think before you ask, “Did you go to Valley High in OH 30 years ago? I had a friend that looked just like you.” Chances are the individual in question is nearly 30 years old and has lived in CA all their lives. Or, “Are you on a reality show? Are you lying? I won’t tell anyone.” Chances are they haven’t been. There are many individuals with dwarfism, especially in well populated cities and states, following geographical and population trends.
(Shared from the little people of America Facebook page)
My surgeries started at age 7 months and have been consistent throughout my life. Every time I would start to think I was done with surgeries I would have more to deal with. So when I’m not dealing with surgeries I make sure and have fun and live life because I know all too well what it’s like to be living life one day and dealing with months/ years of medical problems the next.
I started writing my blog 7 years ago. It was seven years ago that I found a doctor willing to study my dwarfism and I knew I had to start writing.
I was tired of going to google to research my dwarfism and finding nothing. It was then that I realized I had to write my blog, so that there would be something out there for others to find.
I wanted it would give hope to someone else out there to know they weren’t alone. And now years later it has become the starting point of it all.
My parents raised me to believe I could do anything. I ran around the farm with my siblings and would do everything they did. I was raised to be just like all the other kids.
My mom told me that there was one time when I was in the first grade and my mom stopped by the school for something and all the other kids were out at recess and I was in the classroom playing by myself. My teacher (who had all my siblings and who we all respected) told my mom she was worried I would get hurt. My moms response was “I would rather get a call saying Monica got hurt outside playing than a call saying Monica wasn’t with the other kids.”
My parents made it clear from the start that I was to be treated just like all the other children and for that I will forever be grateful. It’s because of that very reason that I grew up knowing I was “different” in the sense that I was short but I was not “different” in any other way.
There are an estimated 30,000 people in the United States and 651,000 internationally with a type of dwarfism.
For Saul Wilson Syndrome there are 9 people in the US and there are 7 people from other countries.
I have only met 2 others with my dwarfism but hope to meet others soon.