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Parkinson’s – Discussion Group and Education Series

December 14, 2022

Open Discussion

Movies in which someone handles going through a major life change started the discussion. As participants began to share their experiences, it became obvious that many did not remember the title or the names of the actors, and in a few cases, even the plot. Many participants acknowledged that they had issues with memory.

This led to a more general discussion about memory. Sometimes you may have a partial memory of a past event, missing key points. And at other times you may remember the event in detail. 

Somehow, this led to the subject of UFOs. Memory becomes a key component for those defending their experiences. Many investigations of unexplained sightings are concluded with the notation of  “something wrong with the camera.”

The topic of little people came up. This prompted a discussion about the correct definitions and appropriate terms to use when speaking and writing.

Resources

What is the definition of dwarfism? 

Little People of America (LPA) defines dwarfism as a medical or genetic condition that usually results in an adult height of 4’10” or shorter, among both men and women.

Short-stature conditions that result in the arms, legs, trunk, and head being in the same proportion an average-size person is referred to as a proportionate dwarfism.

What is a Midget?

In some circles, a midget is the term used for a proportionate dwarf. However, the term has fallen into disfavor and is considered offensive by most people of short stature. 

Such terms as dwarf, little person, LP, and person of short stature are all acceptable, but most people would rather be referred to by their name than by a label.

Dwarf vs. Midget 

dwarf is an extremely short adult who is less than 58 inches tall. The word midget is considered derogatory and offensive. Both words describe a short person but refer to different physical characteristics and genetic conditions.

“Midget” refers to a person who is very short, but normally proportioned. The term midget is now rarely used and is considered offensive. But its usage was very common until the end of the twentieth century. It has given way to “short person” or “little person.”

How to Refer to Little People: The Terms to Know

Out of all the terms that refer to people with dwarfism, the straightforward little person (and its plural little people) is now likely the most common and the one most people are familiar with.

Presentations

Patrick announced that a physical therapist will be presenting to the discussion group on Wednesday, 18 January. Jessie Agrimis will discuss “Why Parkinson’s can make basic movements challenging and practical techniques that help” 

Jessie will review techniques employed in PD treatment, including why and how these techniques are helpful. She also will cover the topic of freezing of gait, why it occurs, and how to best manage it.

Wednesday, 8 February

Kat Hill – Being Well with Chronic Illness

Being Well with Chronic Illness introduces the simple, but powerful concept of the Wellness Spiral, an actionable pathway anyone can follow to turn bad life events to opportunities for growth and wellness. The intricacies of the Wellness Spiral lay out a road map to how we respond to life’s harshest challenges—and how we can rise above them.

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