POINT PLEASANT — Recently, the Mason County Commission signed a proclamation recognizing October as National Dwarfism Awareness month.
Ashley Cossin, who is also a member of the Mason County Board of Education, shared dwarfism is very rare, but in Mason County there are two individuals who have dwarfism and there are 20 individuals who have dwarfism in the state. One of the two individuals in Mason County is Ashley’s daughter Hadleigh.
Hadleigh is a nine-year-old fourth grader at Roosevelt Elementary. She is a very active young lady, she plays basketball and softball. Hadleigh is a Girl Scout and member of her school’s choir and the robotics team. She also likes to participate in local pageants. She is one busy young lady.
Ashley shared in 2013, when Hadleigh was just three years old, the commissioners first signed a National Dwarfism Awareness month proclamation. According to the Little People of America (LPA) organization, National Dwarfism Awareness month began in 2012, National Dwarfism Awareness day began on Oct. 25 of that year.
This warms Ashley’s heart that the commissioners thought of Hadleigh on their own accord. This recognition means a lot to Hadleigh and her family.
During not only this month, but always, Ashley and Hadleigh want to educate people and bring awareness to these individuals about dwarfism.
Individuals who have dwarfism are no different from anyone else commented Ashley, they are just a little shorter. They can do anything everyone else can do. Ashley is always open to questions about dwarfism.
According to the LPA, there are over 200 distinct types of dwarfism, generally, a person with dwarfism is 4’ 10” or under.
There are many reasons a person might be shorter than average, the most common reason is a skeletal dysplasia, such as achondroplasia. However, sometimes a person is short due to other factors like enzyme processing functions or kidney disease.
80 percent of people with dwarfism have average-height parents and siblings. Also, people with dwarfism can have average-height children.
A child with dwarfism is born one per 10,000 births; there are an estimated 30,000 people in the United States with dwarfism.
It is rare to have any mental cognition issues in conjunction with dwarfism.
In recognition of National Dwarfism Awareness Month, there will be a regional fall LPA conference as well as a national LPA conference.
To show support of dwarfism awareness, on Oct. 25, National Dwarfism Awareness day, individuals are encouraged to wear green.
Some information from www.lpa.memberclicks.net was used in this article.
Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.