- Really? Have you never seen fireworks before? They put on the same 15 minute show every day.
- It’s not like you’re at the National Mall on July 4th.
- You kind of look like dorks.
- You’re not going to re-watch the Disneyland fireworks show again from home. Or if you are planning that, wow that’s sad.
- What, are you going to post the video to Youtube? Good luck competing with the Bieb on page views for that.
- Seriously, the low-light sensor on your iPad isn’t going to make a great video.
- We’re ramming your feet with our strollers to try to get you to move, not because we want to cuddle.
- WE CAN’T SEE THROUGH YOUR NINE INCH SCREEN STUCK ABOVE YOUR HEADS!!
I’ll be the first to admit. I.hate.flossing. Absolutely hate it with a passion. First of all, my mouth is too small to reach my molars in the back. Having short fingers doesn’t help with flossing either. I could never get the floss around my fingers tightly while at the same time trying to wrap it around my tooth. Also, Achondroplastic dwarfs are prone to orthodontic issues. With the small mouth and normal sized teeth, it gets crowded and teeth are forced up against each other, which leads to tight spaces between the teeth to floss. All of these factors make it very discouraging to floss well and often.
Our son didn’t have any teeth until after age 1, probably due to having Failure To Thrive. In any case, his geneticist told us from the beginning to keep on top of his overall health. The Early Intervention program helped by offering health clinics free of charge like vision and dental screening. He saw a dental hygenist at one of these clinics when he was only 2 years of age. That’s where we learned dental hygiene techniques for young children, whether or not they had a disability. We use these techniques even today with the kids being ages 7 and 3. His first visit to the dentist was at 2 1/2 years old. At that age, he had 17 out of 22 teeth. His follow-up was 6 months later to check on the flossing. Our son hated brushing his teeth, but singing a song helped ease the chore. He tolerated flossing only the front teeth. Over the years, he got better at tolerating the brushing and the polishing at the dental office.
It is okay if your child does not have access to a disabled placard. There are many LP adults whose parents did not have a disabled placard to use when we were young. In fact, there are some LP adults who don’t have a placard because they don’t want to live a life with special adaptations, which is awesome. Any kid has to learn early to be aware of our surroundings, not to walk away from our parents’ car when in the parking lot, hold someone’s hand, and always wait before crossing. Having a disabled placard should not be a right that’s misused. And an infant with dwarfism who cannot walk yet does not need a disabled placard.
Call me the dwarfism and disability rights crusader for my son’s school. First, there was a call to action against a charter school placed on our campus. Then, there was a call to action for air conditioning to be placed in our area schools. Often, PTAs will send out template letters for parents to send to the school board. Instead of just copying and sending the template letter, I like to use that letter as a big red flag to say: I’m a parent of a child with dwarfism! Here is your Dwarfism Awareness educational moment!
This is a letter I wrote to the school board members to demonstrate the effects of not having air conditioning at our schools (the name of the school proposition has been changed):
I recently started a new job at a large profitable company with established ergonomic procedures and budgets. At my last job, I had never been offered any sort of special accommodation to get a chair that fit me besides offering a foot rest. It was plainly obvious upon starting my job that the standard office chairs, while a nice chair, would not suit my needs as it was way too deep.
Finding the Right Task Chair
After the obligatory ergonomic eval for new hires, the ergonomist said she would order me a petite task chair that would most likely fit me well. I waited a few weeks and the new chair showed up. Not surprisingly, it did fit better, but I was unable to sit back and have my legs bend at the knee. Many little people order the Adaptive Living ErgoChair online to solve this problem, but it’s very expensive fully decked out and is not the most attractive chair out there. Dwarf Mom had one of these chairs at her last job (unfortunately they didn’t let her take it home after she no longer worked there).