Tenwest Mandarin School

User profile: DougW659

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  • RegisteredOctober 10, 2013
  • RegionNorth America
  • VerifiedYes
  • RegisteredOctober 10, 2013

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As the parent of one of the smallest people alive, I think I can tell you that this issue is a lot more complex than most of you realize. I agree with some of what the more thoughtful posters here are saying, Alien in particular seems to have a really good grasp on the underlying issue. However, even his comments are made somewhat in a vacuum. The fact is that we DO live in an imperfect world. People at a very base genetic level still have tendencies to ostracize those who are different, and to use the troubles or disabilities of others as a way of propping up their own faulty egos. That doesn't make them evil.....just human. Of course we should strive for a better system, but in the meantime, we need to make sure we aren't actually causing more individual suffering through our demands for a politically correct world.

My son, who is 25 years old, 40 inches tall and weighs 41 lbs has spent the last two years torn between two less-than-perfect choices: putting himself out into the public world, where he often is the subject of staring, pointing, giggling whispers and sometimes outright ridicule; and staying home, playing video games and limiting his contact with people to some minor internet chatting and interacting with his parents. Last month he was encouraged by a counselor to apply for a job at a local six-flags, where he will be a featured player in a temporary haunted house they run. He'll dress as a clown-doll, and then jump up and scare people who don't realize he is alive (he will be safely behind a railing away from the 'customers').

At first, I was worried about his taking a job that 'takes advantage' of his difference. But he seemed to want to try it, and after the first night of rehearsal, he came home as excited as I have seen him in many months.

So, what I am saying, is that we need to leave this in the hands of the people actually affected as much as possible. While it may seem distasteful to us to see a large group of dwarves being put on public display, to them it may be one of the more important and positive parts of their lives. The ability to interact with others, to gain some sense of self-worth may be so overwhelmingly positive to them that it more than makes up for the negatives also associated with the situation.

I know that I have personally dried many of my son's tears (and held back a few of my own) as the result of BOTH of the initial choices that he has had to make, staying home and remaining hidden and safe but alone, and stepping into society and experiencing both the joy of friends and the pain of callous strangers. You can see my son and those who share his Syndrome at www.primordialdwarfism.com

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