Organization strives to help dwarves adjust

By Scott Tibbs

Staring. Gawking. Pointing. To many people, this is the common reaction upon seeing a dwarf. However, instead of being mere curiosity, this can often lead to remarks that are hurtful to both the dwarf and his/her family. In addition, there are many stereotypes about dwarves which have been perpetuated which are not true.

That's where the Little People of America come in. Based in Washington, D.C., the Little People of America serves as a service to dwarves and their families, providing information regarding possible treatments for some of the medical problems associated with dwarfism. The LPA also serves as a way for families of short-statured children to speak with other families in the same situation, and offers information on how to deal with the knowledge their child will be a dwarf, such as the booklet "My Child Is A Dwarf."

One of the most common forms of dwarfism is achondroplasia. This form of dwarfism results in the following traits, according to the Human Growth Foundation: The normal body length and a larger than normal head, and shortness of the arms and legs in comparison to the body. The arms and legs are mostly short from shoulder to elbow and hip to knee. Other signs include the lack of a "bridge" to the nose between the eyes and a prominent forehead.

While dwarves may experience physical problems, such as hearing difficulties, more difficulty in developing motor skills in infancy, and dental problems, many dwarves are very well-adjusted and successful. Dwarves are businessmen, doctors, lawyers, and teachers.

The Little People of America can be reached by writing to their headquarters:

Little People of America, Inc.
P.O. Box 9897
Washington, D.C. 20016

Mike Trotzke

Sean Frick

Eric Seymour