Finding Peace, Grace and Power: Words of Advice To My Children About Bullying

My grandmother was very wise in her years to instill the fire in my belly. But, I never knew how much that fire would need to be re-lit and fueled continuously throughout my life because people are just plain jerks. I’m not talking about the random, uneducated person that calls me a midget or the bratty 9-year old kid that thinks it’s funny to measure themselves against my height to show that I’m definitely shorter than them. It’s the continuous need to build a community for my children that is encouraging and supporting of them, no matter what they look like or what they accomplish. Coincidentally, that community is in one of the toughest places to build positivity– school.

Tirades about why bullying sucks is so passe’. We all know it and most of us have experienced it. But when children are involved and they have done nothing wrong to deserve it, but to exist, that sucks.

  1. Find peace within yourself to know that you deserve to be here on this earth, just as much as anyone else no matter how smart, fortunate, or popular they are. You are amazing just being you.
  2. Don’t you go discriminating against anyone else or you’ll be discriminated yourself. The next person has just as much to offer you as you have them, no matter what size, color, creed, or shape.
  3. Be graceful in your frustration with stupidity. How’s the saying go? Life is 90% how you react. It’s tough, I know . . . but, it will serve you well. If you really need to blow off steam, throw coins.
  4. Power comes in many forms and it’s not just to make someone feel small. Take that power and do good with it. Uplift someone else who has been wronged. They will in turn empower the next person.
  5. Numbers don’t mean anything, so when any popularity comes into view, ignore it. Know that you are loved and cherished.

Whenever in doubt, I remember this affirmation that a college professor taught me. It’s simple, so keep remembering it.

I am brilliant, powerful, limitless, love.

Top 8 Reasons Not to Record Disneyland Fireworks on Your iPad

  1. Really? Have you never seen fireworks before? They put on the same 15 minute show every day.
  2. It’s not like you’re at the National Mall on July 4th.
  3. You kind of look like dorks.
  4. You’re not going to re-watch the Disneyland fireworks show again from home. Or if you are planning that, wow that’s sad.
  5. What, are you going to post the video to Youtube? Good luck competing with the Bieb on page views for that.
  6. Seriously, the low-light sensor on your iPad isn’t going to make a great video.
  7. We’re ramming your feet with our strollers to try to get you to move, not because we want to cuddle.

Read More

32 Teeth and All Brand New: Dental Care from Birth to Adult

TeethI’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.
Read More

Disabled Placards: A Necessity or a Luxury

Some thoughts from an LP adult perspective . . .

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.
Read More

Letter to School Board: Air Conditioning Affecting My Child With Dwarfism

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):

Read More