Since most new parents generally learn their
child has dwarfism in the first two years of life, they have time to
teach them about their condition. Despite these efforts, children may
not understand they have dwarfism until adolescence. To avoid a child
being caught off guard, their environment (primarily their parents)
needs to help them develop self-confidence and independence.
This is only possible if parents do not
overprotect their child. A child has to learn with their
parents to recognize their own capacities and live with their
shortcomings. Teenagers also need enriching and positive experiences.
They need to follow their passions and excel at something so they can
define themselves and be comfortable in their own skin. This will help
adolescent little people become more independent, especially if their
parents avoid helping them all the time conserve energy and save time.
They are capable and need to know it!
With regards to making friends, the best
ways are to be friendly, relatively extroverted, and to have a good
sense of humor. Making the first move is a good way to start and will
help with meeting other teenagers in the future. If a young person
needs a role model of an adult little person who is comfortable in
their own skin, they can come to AQPPT meetings to meet people of all
ages a similar situation. Like all young adults, little people start
thinking seriously about finding a partner during their teenage years.
This is a whole challenge in itself. Teenage little people will have to
first and foremost learn how to love their bodies - something not
always accepted by others or themselves.
Two types of extreme behavior may present
themselves: aggressive flirting in young women and a strong manly
attitude in young men, or, the opposite: a withdrawal or escape into
themselves. Prejudices exist, and some little people will be more
inclined to devalue their image, while others will fully accept
themselves. It is often a question of time before they meet the right
person, whether they will be of small stature or regular height.