CABARRUS COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Noah Ballard, 8, attends Weddington Hills Elementary School in Concord. Ever since starting kindergarten, he has helped bring Dwarfism Awareness (DA) into the school.
For all those who didn't know anything about DA – I'm with you. I am not ashamed to admit, I knew nothing. Noah has helped open my eyes. Here's a list of things this now second grader wants us to know:
- The awareness color for dwarfism is green.
- It’s celebrated every October.
- October is the month Little People of America was founded.
"The purpose of a Dwarfism Month is to advocate awareness in the community about Dwarfism," Noah's mom Traci Ballard said. "To reassure children that we come in all different sizes and it's okay to be small. As children are very inquisitive, his father Chad and I started bringing DA into Noah's class room ever since daycare. Each year we do more and more."
Traci said during the first weeks of elementary school they heard other children talking and pointing at Noah. As a parent, that was really hard.
"We knew we had to step up our education," she said. "We approached the principal who was very receptive, even ordering green awareness bands for the entire school. She had Noah and his big brother Matthew on the morning school news while the homeroom teacher gave the whole school facts on dwarfism."
There have been other things as well, Traci says, but every year with new kids, student transfers and new kindergartners entering the school - there are always new eyes noticing Noah.
"We'll just keep teaching everyone about DA," she said. "Thank God the school continues to give us this opportunity."
Some other facts regarding Noah and dwarfism:
- 80 percent of Little People are born to average sized parents.
- Little people can give birth to average height children.
- Dwarfism occurs in all races and ethenicities.
- People with dwarfism are usually no taller than 4ft, 10in.
- The word "midget" is highly offensive.
- Use "dwarf or “little person”.
Also, those in the dwarfism community prefer the word average instead of the word normal. (ie: "average sized parents" or "average sized siblings".)
Welcome to #MollysKids, Noah. Thanks for teaching us all.