October Is Dwarfism Awareness Month
The fall season is hands down my favorite time of year. The leaves begin to fall and turn to beautiful shades of red, yellow, and orange. I am always eager with anticipation for stepping outside to feel the crisp, cool air brush against my cheeks. Wearing comfy sweaters and flannel pajama pants again. Smelling the sweet aroma of an apple crisp baking in the oven. These are the moments that I prefer most over any day spent roasting on the beach or cooped up in the house during a snowstorm.
…for many like myself, the month of October means just a little bit more
October, in my opinion, is the best month of the entire season. It’s when the fall festivities truly begin. This time of year means being able to carve pumpkins and watch horror movie marathons on repeat. It means that there’s an excuse to eat as much candy as humanly possible without fear of judgment because hey, Halloween. However, for many like myself, the month of October means just a little bit more.
In 2009, The Little People of America (LPA) declared October as Dwarfism Awareness Month for the very first time. Since then, people from all over the United States have come together to raise positive awareness around Dwarfism. They work diligently each year to confront any misconceptions that are common while helping to increase opportunities for those who are living with the disorder.
The overall goal is to provide medical, peer and parent support to the entire Dwarfism community
The LPA is a non-profit organization that has managed to reach a global scale with its efforts to improve the quality of life for people with Dwarfism. The overall goal is to deliver medical, peer, and parent support to the entire Dwarfism community. Furthermore, striving to create solutions to significant problems that affect little people and their families every single day. Today, the LPA thrives on its ability to provide strong outreach to communities and helpful resources, such as education and scholarships for college.
These people supported and loved me, and I thought that was all I really needed in order to make me whole
As a person living with Dwarfism who is now an adult, I am fully aware of how important it is for associations like the LPA to exist. Unfortunately, this was not always the case. For the majority of my life, I’ve surrounded myself with people who are not like me. People who are typical. These people supported and loved me and I thought that was all I really needed in order to make me whole. Now, I realize that not only did I not feel a need for my community, I admittedly didn’t want to be a part of it either.
Many people struggle with accepting themselves. It can be even more of a challenge when you don’t exactly “measure up” to the norm of society (no pun intended). Although I was surrounded by people who had accepted me, I just wasn’t ready to accept myself. They embraced me-all 3 feet, 4 inches of me. However, I couldn’t imagine a time when I’d be able to embrace every inch of my own body when I looked in the mirror.
It took several years and a lot of growing up to do to realize exactly what I’d been missing. I had been missing the Dwarfism community. A community of people who would truly understand my struggle and relate to the pain I’d experienced. People who would confirm my feelings and help me to make sense of them. My journey, along with those of other little people, is exactly why our world needs the LPA and a Dwarfism Awareness Month. Our stories should, and will be heard.
For more information, please visit LPA’s website to find out how you can get involved.