Dwarfism is a growth disorder characterized by shorter than average body height. Dwarfism is considered as a disability in many countries including the USA (under Americans with Disabilities Act), India (under Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act) and South Africa.
Criteria / Definition of Dwarfism
Human beings with adult body height less than 4 feet 10 inches (147.32cm) are considered to be affected with dwarfism.
The average height of dwarfism affected adult persons is 4 feet (122 cm)
Causes of Dwarfism
Dwarfism can be caused due to medical and genetic disorders. There are more than 200 causes of dwarfism — any of which can cause some type of dwarfism.
Types of Dwarfism
- Disproportionate (also known as skeletal dysplasias)
- Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasias
- Diastrophic dysplasia
In this disorder the overall height of the body remains short but all body parts (like head, arms, legs, torso) grow proportionate to each other. This is condition is usually caused due to metabolic and hormonal disorders such as growth hormone deficiency.
Some of the body parts are of average height and some other parts remain shorter than normal height. This type of dwarfism usually has genetic causes.
Occurrence: 1 in 40,000 babies.
Characterized by long trunk and shortened upper parts of arms and legs.
- a large head with a prominent forehead
- a flattened bridge of the nose
- protruding jaw
- crowded and misaligned teeth
- forward curvature of the lower spine
- bowed legs
- flat, short, broad feet
Occurrence: 1 in 95,000 babies.
Characterized by a shortened trunk.
- club feet
- cleft palate
- severe osteoarthritis in the hips
- weak hands and feet
- barrel-chested appearance
Occurrence: 1 in 100,000 babies.
Characterized by shortened forearms and calves.
- deformed hands and feet
- limited range of motion
- cleft palate
- ears with a cauliflower appearance
Dwarfism Meaning in Hindi
In Hindi language dwarfism is known as baunapan (बौनापन) and the affected person is (sometimes derogatorily) called bauna (बौना).
Is Dwarfism a Disease?
Dwarfism is considered to be a disability but it is not a disease that requires a “cure”. Affected people often live a normal life.
Do Dwarf People (Little People) have Lower Intellect?
No. Dwarfism is not an intellectual disability. Most of the dwarfism affected people have average intelligence.
- Words like dwarf, little people, LP and Person of Short Stature are acceptable for addressing.
- Name of the person should rather be used instead of these words.
- Words like midget are offensive.
Famous Persons with Dwarfism
Warwick Ashley Davis is an English actor and television presenter. He played the title characters in Willow and the Leprechaun film series, the Ewok Wicket in Return of the Jedi and Professor Filius Flitwick and Griphook in the Harry Potter films.
Peter Hayden Dinklage is an American actor. He played Tyrion Lannister in the HBO series Game of Thrones, earning him international attention and acclaim.
Jyoti has a Guinness World Record for being the world’s smallest living woman. She has appeared in many TV shows.
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