Today I recently divulged in a previous question that I am a 4'9" female adult. I think everyone can agree that I'm certainly short, but how do you diagnosis "dwarfism"?
I was born with congenital bone fusions thanks to a rare bone deformity, klippel-feil-syndrome, and have undergone 15 surgeries in my lifetime. While I've always been extremely short to my classmates growing-up (it took me a long time to even get on the height chart at the pediatricians), no one ever suggested or gave thought to growth-hormones because it seems my body was short because of all my bone deformities (I'm missing a few vertebrae in my spine and neck, etc) -- also, it was the 90's. Additionally, my body is proportional so I don't think anyone has ever seriously considered the fact that I may indeed be a dwarf -- a proportionate dwarf.
I have been teased my entire life for my height. For instance, I can't sit in any chair without having my feet dangle, I cannot look in a peep-hole in a door, I cannot take my clothes out of the laundry machine without a step-stool and a long pair of prongs, I am too short to drive go-carts (but can drive a real car), I'm too short to ride a bike -- I can't touch the ground, etc. But these are merely nuisances -- not critical problems -- except when it comes to walking. I simply cannot keep up with anyone even though I'm walking at twice or triple the speed of everyone else (which often wares me out and causes resentment on whoever is with me).
Besides all this, I have come across time and time again that adult females under 4'10" are considered dwarfs, which I a fall under (I'm 4'9")-- even if barely.
In humans, dwarfism is sometimes defined as an adult height of less than 4 feet 10 inches
Dwarfism is short stature that results from a genetic or medical condition. Dwarfism is generally defined as an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches (147 centimeters) or less.
Proportionate dwarfism. A body is proportionately small if all parts of the body are small to the same degree and appear to be proportioned like a body of average stature. Medical conditions present at birth or appearing in early childhood limit overall growth and development.
Dwarfism is a condition of short stature. It is defined by the advocacy group Little People of America (LPA) as an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches or under, as a result of a medical or genetic condition.
I've known this information for awhile, and every time I mention it to a friend or family they just quickly shut me up with "No you're not!" I don't know if they are trying to boost my self-esteem or that my proportional body gives a false perception, but I seem to fit the diagnosis to the letter (the congenital bone deformities that stunted my growths and have caused me to remain within the category for "little person" or whatever term is preferred. I'm not looking for sympathy (because I am who I am), but why do people act like it's shameful/outrageous if I'm a dwarf? I know I'm taller than most (I'm not wanting attention), but why not call it for what it is? Why this social taboo?