Here is a sweet letter one of Variety’s parents wrote to her child’s school on how to educate and inform others that we really are all the same.
Our son, Bryce, is a first grader this year. We are writing this letter because Bryce has achondroplasia (a form of dwarfism) and we have found it is quite common for both children and adults to have questions about his condition. Even though your child may be older or younger than Bryce, they may meet on the playground, chapel or at another school event. Friends have found it helpful to have a little information. The following are a few basic facts about dwarfism:
· There are over 200 distinct types of dwarfism. Bryce has achondroplasia which is a bone growth disorder that affects the long bones of the arms and legs.
· Some dwarfism types are recessive (carried within the parents’ genes). Others are what are called “spontaneous mutations at conception”. Bryce’s form is not recessive. It was just a simple genetic mutation that occurred. We believe strongly that Bryce (as with all children) is created On Purpose and for a Great Purpose.
· There is not a “cure” for Bryce’s type of dwarfism.
· Over 80% of all people with dwarfism have average-height parents and siblings, as is our case.
· It is extremely rare to have cognitive deficiencies with dwarfism.
· Terminology: the word “midget” is not used anymore; it is a derogatory, slang word. When we use terms, we use “short-stature” or “having dwarfism”. Just as an individual who has a skin color different from ours would not want to be referred to by their skin color, nor does an individual who has a physical condition/disability want to be referred to by their diagnosis. The word “dwarf” is technically correct, although we rarely use it when speaking about Bryce. We believe he is a child of God first and foremost. His identity is in Christ, not in his diagnosis. Therefore, we just refer to him as Bryce!
As is true with all of us, God has entrusted us with many unique attributes. We are grateful to have already seen God’s hand over Bryce’s life. He has had many opportunities to impact the lives of others and the community because of his challenges. We rejoice in the unique opportunities God provides all of us to impact our world. We are looking forward to another amazing year at school. If you, or your children, have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.