Affect on a person’s life
Restricted growth conditions can have a highly negative effect on a person’s quality of life, mainly because of the apparent visibility of the condition. Often, the public perception of restricted growth problems is that those with such conditions also suffer from mental handicaps which can lead to discrimination. Such problems are not helped by the media, which often entertains the stereotypes employed by the public and even encourage the image o people with the condition as being figures of fun.
This discrimination can be found in other areas of life too. In school, children with restricted growth conditions can often be bullied or feel singled out because of their difference of appearance. In such instances, children should have adequate support within their school or look towards more specialist education providers for help. Studies indicate that many of those who suffered problems as a result of a restricted growth conditions can suffer low self esteem and in turn achieve lower levels of personal achievement.
In some work based scenarios, heightism can also emerge as a problem. In some physically based employment roles, such as builders or professional athletes, certain physical abilities are required to perform the job. However, it is important to ensure that discrimination against people of restricted growth in the work place does not occur. Thankfully, the UK has an excellent set of work based laws which prevent discrimination against such conditions.
In social terms, people of restricted growth cannot play any contact sports, take part in any running and generally have to avoid sustained periods of exercise. This is due to the potential risks of organ or skeletal damage. Because of this, those suffering the condition must also pay due care and attention to what they eat. Restricted growth conditions are made harder to live with on a day to day basis if the person in question suffers from a weight problem. Being overweight may also have further adverse effects on their overall health, so it is important that they maintain a balanced diet.
In addition to this, people with a restricted growth condition will often encounter problems in meeting a partner. In the case of men, surveys have previously indicated a preference amongst women for taller male partners.
Once coupled up, people with a restricted growth disorder face a difficult decision over whether to have children with their partner. In around 70% of cases, people of restricted growth will have the achondroplasia variation of the disorder. This would mean they would possess one “normal” gene and another gene which is responsible for the restriction of growth.
If both parents have this gene make up, they have a one in four chance of the baby being born healthy. They also have a two in four chance of the baby being born with the same restricted growth disorder as them and a one in four chance of the baby being born with two of the growth disorder genes. This last option usually means a difficult and early death for the child. However, genetic developments are looking towards a way of controlling the gene make up of the embryo to ensure that the conception of children amongst people of restricted growth is less risky.