October is Dwarfism Awareness Month!
This week I am spreading awareness with a three post series about dwarfism – mostly focusing on achondroplasia.
10 years ago a squishy little girl was born. Her name is Katherine Maxine, but she goes by Katie.
She was diagnosed at two weeks old with Achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism.
We’ll start with the facts…
Little People of America (LPA) defines dwarfism as “a medical or genetic condition that usually results in an adult height of 4’10” or shorter, among both men and women, although in some cases a person with a dwarfing condition may be slightly taller than that.”
As mentioned before, achondroplasia is the most common form of dwarfism, but there are more than 200 different types of dwarfism.
Achondroplasia is a genetic condition that results in disproportionately short arms and legs. There is typically a larger head with a prominent forehead and a low nasal bridge.
Intelligence is not affected in people with achondroplasia dwarfism.
The average height of a male with achondroplasia is 4’4″ and a female with achondroplasia is 4’1″.
There are some medical complications that come with achondroplasia, but not all achondroplasia cases experience them. For my little sister, she experienced sleep apnea as a baby, has had tubes put in her ears, and recently had her tonsils and adenoids removed – all of which can happen in average height kids too!
Achondroplasia is a genetic condition. Both of Katie’s parents (my parents) are average height and Katie could someday have an average height child of her own! Just because Katie is little does not mean her future lineage will also be little.
Ok, that’s the nitty gritty about achondroplasia (the abridged version because whoa – there is a lot to know about achondroplasia dwarfism) If you have other questions about dwarfism please ask and we (my mom and I) will try to answer.
You’re also welcome for these classic family photos!
Tomorrow I am focusing on Katie, her personality and how she feels about having dwarfism. And there are many more photos to come!