Living with a Disability from the Perspective of a Little Person

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Date Submitted: 09/26/2011 08:54 PM

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Living with a Disability from the Perspective of a Little Person

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Living with a Disability from the Perspective of a Little Person

Ms. L.K., a charismatic 22-year old female, presented a first hand account of living with pseudoachondroplastic dysplasia, a rare inherited disorder of bone growth causing short stature (McKeand, 1996). From an early age her family made minor assistive concessions in order to mitigate physical limitation, but otherwise encouraged independence and instilled self-reliance. Following Bryan's example (1996) the family, comprised of average sized members, invariably treated her with indifference in regards to familial goals and expectations. Yet, obstacles persisted throughout her formative education, particularly in activities associated with heights as well as excessive physical activities. Schools made special provisions to ease adversities of a world built on differing height standards.

Her disability was characterized as a biological deviation, which from birth presented barriers in successfully performing socially defined activities and roles within both physical and social environments (IOM, 2007A p. 36). Conversely, L.K. would not be considered to have a chronic illness yet she has experienced a number of orthopedic complications such as vertebrae compression issues, and an early onset of osteoarthritis. Despite these inauspicious complications, they are not deemed to be life threatening and simply do not form the underpinnings of her inability to live up to her potential on a daily basis (IOM, 2007B pp. 79-81). Furthermore, L.K. identified herself as able bodied through environmental accoutrement, yet marginally disabled in that she has received: special parking accommodations, specified scholarship opportunities, as well as having received special events passes that allowed her front row access to all...