LIVING WITH DWARFISM - KAZAKHSTAN
My name is Guzal, 29 years old; I am from sunny Almaty city, Kazakhstan. I always think people should enjoy every moment of their life whether it is a good or bad thing. I am so grateful to my family for their excellent support, physical training, education and optimistic attitude I hold within my life.
When I was born my parents did not have any idea about my diagnosis. Due to the lack of information in Kazakhstan, my parents wrote to Russian’s hospitals with the requests of explanation anything about dwarfism. When I was 4 years old we went to Russian Scientific Centre for Restorative Traumatology and Orthopedics in Kurgan, where children with achondroplasia at early age had legs and arms operations. Weighing all pros and cons my parents decided not to undergo any operations for me thus to give me the opportunity to enjoy all moments of real childhood. And I must say by now I don’t regret about it.
My childhood on the whole was really happy starting from kindergarten. The next stage was school, where here the parents and I had to prove why the school should accept me. The school’s staff thought that I should study in specialized school for disabled. Nevertheless I had passed all entrance exams and was successfully accepted, my father told to director at that time that I wouldn’t let the school down. And I indeed proved it: besides a good academic performance, I took part in all activities, even in basketball, in singing competitions between teams, theaters… I felt equally within all my schoolmates.
During my university life the first half of year was quite a challenge for me when all students were so curious towards me and I could not help noticing that. Of course such everyday occurrence will continue around the world, but I must admit nowadays people became more well-educated thanks to different TV programs, internet recourses about LP and other disabled people who make wonderful things in the world. Generation is changed and view of things is changeable accordingly.
It is a pity to know that some little people have too many complexes which prevent them to have full mode of life. And it is the parents whose role in this issue is very important: to treat to the child from the birth without any limitations in all-round education, physical training and just general development. I have heard about children with dwarfism who have too many hangs-ups and a fear to go in the street, to communicate with society.
Our life is our family, favorite job, spending great time with friends… I am very proud to have the job I have now. I work as a counselor in one of the consulting educational agencies which helps to students from Kazakhstan to find suitable school/university in the UK, Canada, USA, Australia and other countries. As a part of my work I have to visit our partners in some countries, attend the educational workshops/seminars, training, meet with students and admission staff, etc. At the same time I am happy that my work gives me a great opportunity to see other countries, its culture, people, and food and understand the attitude to people with dwarfism.
It is very important from the childhood not to treat yourself as a disabled and not always prove that you are an ordinary person as everyone who has abilities and talent to realize. The team I work with admitted me as a professional worker. Neither my colleagues nor the clients I work with tell anything about physical condition. Thanks to wise manager and her often conversations with me I became the leader of my department and on my return I taught new counselors how to work with clients/students-parents, partners, how to make educational fairs and much more.
In Kazakhstan it is quite simple for LP to go to swimming pool, gyms, dancing studios. There are competitions in many sports (Paralympic) for disabled. Unfortunately we don’t have an association of LP which could bring together at some events, solve any problems, and have the discussions and just to have a fun time. Sometimes you could see TV programs in Kazakhstan about how little people live, how they find a job, make a family.
If parents treat their child as to a common person discovering their abilities at early stage in music, sport, art, thus they provide all conditions for harmonious development of man and overcoming all obstacles.