If a child has been diagnosed with Dwarfism, they"re probably wondering what lies ahead for them and their family. They may be asking if their child may lead a normal life, or perhaps their concerned about the challenges they will face growing up because they have below average height. Well, they wouldn't be alone. Between one in 14,000 and one in 27,000 babies are born each year with some form of dwarfism.
Dwarfism is the result of unusually short stature that can arise from a variety of genetic and other conditions. This shortness can usually be found in the arms and legs, or trunk. There are over 300 conditions that cause abnormal skeletal growth and dwarfism. Achondroplasia is the most common type of short limb dwarfism, occurring in around 25,000 children with both sexes at an equal risk. Sometimes we refer to those people affected as "Little people" because their adult height usually results about 4"10"" or shorter, among both men and women; although, in some cases a person with a dwarfing condition may be slightly taller than that.
In the past, the term's dwarfism and dwarf were only used to refer to these cases of disproportionate short stature. The term Midget was usually applied to conditions of proportionate short stature in which all parts of the body match in size. However the word "midget" now is considered offensive by many people of short stature and has been misused. Today the word "dwarf" also takes a back seat to "little person," "person of short stature," or "person with dwarfism." Just like anyone else, though, people of short stature most like to be known by their names instead of any identifying characteristics like dwarfism.
More than 200 recognized conditions cause dwarfism. Most of them are genetic, resulting in either a spontaneous genetic change, like mutation, or genes inherited from one or both parents. In cases of both, spontaneous mutation and inherited genes, two average size parents can have a child with short stature.