FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFTA) — People come in all shapes and sizes but October 25 marks a special day for people with dwarfism.
Everett was diagnosed with achondroplasia which is the most common form of dwarfism.Kelly Stuckey, Everett’s mom
Kelly Stuckey, who is the mother of three-year-old Everett, always advocates for her son, but International Dwarfism Awareness Day is just another way to encourage people to learn more about dwarfism.
“A lot times kids and people in general think he’s younger than his age,” Stuckey said. “They hear him talk and they see him do certain things and they think he is a really advanced one-year-old or two-year-old.”
Stuckey gave birth to Everett in April of 2016.
“We had a super typical pregnancy,” Stuckey said. “It did end in a emergency c-section but at the time we didn’t know he had dwarfism.”
After blood testing, Everett was diagnosed with achondroplasia, which is the most common form of dwarfism.
“There was no prior family history and so when the doctor proposed it we thought ‘oh, she is completely wrong’,” she said. “We later on learned that this is just a spontaneous genetic mutation.”
About 80 percent of people with achondroplasia are born to parents of average height.Mayo Clinic’s website
International Dwarfism Awareness Day is a time where families like the Stuckey’s celebrate dwarfism and help spread awareness.
“My goal is for people to just see Everett as another human,” Stuckey said. “He is another person made in the image of God and we are actually a lot more alike than we are different.”
Stuckey said before having Everett, she was oblivious to all things dwarfism so now she wants to use her family’s story to show how being different isn’t wrong.
“The minute a kid can see past just like the psychical and learn that he loves Pawl Patrol and he likes Mario Cart,” she said. “They see that they have things in common and they usually just move right along and are quick buddies.”
Stuckey said in general, it is preferred people use the phrase “average height” when talking about people with dwarfism.
She also said not to refer to people with dwarfism as “midget”.
A lot of people don’t know because it’s kind of a common slang term that people use for a person of short stature but it has a really derogatory meaning.Kelly Stuckey, Everett’s mom
“I just want people to learn more so they can see past the psychical differences,” Stuckey said. “There’s so many modifications and things that can be done so he (Everett) can do and achieve things that any average height person can do.”
Stuckey wants parents to know if their child says something or stares, she knows their curiosity is only natural.
“A big no no is to pick them up or say ‘shhh’ or don’t talk about that and just drag them away because they immediately think ‘oh there really is something wrong with him’,” she said. “Instead I encourage (parents) to ask them what makes them different and to find some sort of common denominator.”
She said the more conversation the better.
“Just say, ‘yeah ya know everybody is different and that is a good thing’,” she said. “Try to get them to say what’s their favorite show or what’s their favorite color so they start to see they are actually the same.”
Different isn’t wrong.Kelly Stuckey, Everett’s mom