A very moving, but also informative blog from Mary Henderson who’s young daughter has pseudoachondroplasia.
Please read the full article here, but here are Mary’s thoughts:-
Here’s what I think all new parents of children with skeletal dysplasias should know:
1. Every accomplishment — down to the smallest thing like learning how to step up a curb without help — will mean the world to you. You will feel a pride many other parents are not lucky enough to know. You will take nothing for granted, and celebrate every success of your child. Your highs might be higher and lows lower than others. Hold onto those highs and keep them close to your heart.
2. You will find many along a similar journey and many to support you, but all our journeys are unique. You will learn how you want to handle your own situations and how to teach your own child. I am not comfortable referring to my daughter as a “little person,” though so many with a form of dwarfism are OK with it. I choose not to label my daughter in any way, and I respect those who choose to use that term or others. You choose your journey and respect other journeys.
3. Your child’s diagnosis and this new journey you are on will make you a better person; this I promise you. I could not even see far enough down my black tunnel a few years ago to understand this, but I am learning. I have a long way to go, but I do know that in a few quick years I am a stronger, more tolerant, understanding, compassionate, giving and kind person than I ever was. I have a hard time believing the “I was given this child for a reason” scenario, but sometimes I do have to wonder if there’s some truth to it.
4. You will become ultra sensitive to all discussions/comments regarding size, whether it’s about being very tall or very short. People say things — lots of thing without even thinking twice — and you have to take it with a grain of salt. I’d spend my days sad and angry and hurt if I let everyone’s comments (not even about my daughter) get to me. Yes, they do sometimes, especially if coming from people I care about, but I do my best to move on. Know that most people don’t mean anything by it and you likely wouldn’t have thought twice about commenting on size or growth if you weren’t in this boat. Speak up when you choose to — pick your battles.
5. Read and take comfort in the famous “Welcome to Holland” story by Emily Perl Kingsley. I know it saved me in my darkest hour many times. It’s something many people will never be privy to if they are not given a reason to read it. I cannot recall who exactly sent it to me, but I do know I’ve read it time and again, and it is very special and so true. It takes time to believe. You will have many moments where you wish you had the trip to Italy, but in time you will understand that Holland really is much better.
Please visit Mary’s site and help if you can.