Hi, my name is Eoghann. I have Achondroplasia and I am about 4ft /105cms tall. I live near Fraserburgh in the northeast and at the moment I am attending 3rd year of secondary education at Mintlaw Academy, but at least it is mainstream education and they did not send me to a special school.
So what is it like being a person of Short Stature? To be honest, in my opinion, it is not very good – at least not at the moment. The biggest problem is the aches and pains in the lower back and legs, which stop me getting about like other people of my age group. I have special transport to school; it just takes a little longer, which makes it a very long day.
The other main problem is reaching things. The easiest way to get over this is to use a step. This gives you height, but if something is at the back of a shelf or worktop, I have to climb a little.
The best piece of special equipment is a set of plastic steps or stools. It helps you do all types of things that you want to do. Another piece of equipment that I have is a trike recommended by a social worker, but I never use it on the road. Our roads are not very good and I cannot ride it very far, because of my legs. I am allowed to use the lifts in school as I have difficult in climbing stairs. They did get me a platform and a special automatic chair, but I do not use them because they are too tall for the tables the school uses. The best chair I use is the one that the school crafts teacher fitted an extra bar on to rest my feet. If you need help with equipment, ask the people who know, the ones who have short stature problems themselves. Occupation Therapists can help, but don’t always understand the problems.
I receive a lot of name-calling and bullying, but mainly from my own age group, which stems from a lack of understanding and general ignorance. Many adults just have a look and then ignore me. I have had to learn to ignore it, but it still hurts.
The various conditions that cause short stature can also stop you doing some things like sport and some activities at school, but I will be able to take my driving test next year – a year earlier than the average person can and that will make them take notice.
There are good things about being short, not many, except when I meet with people with the same problems, then there is no difference and we all muck in together and try to help each other out.