Carole Blueweiss

Dwarfism: Raising a Little Person

EPISODE SUMMARY

Audrey Curwin is the mother of two adult children, Jillian and Benjamin. Audrey was the Assistant Prosecutor in Gloucester County, New Jersey, supervising the domestic violence and sexual assault unit until her retirement in 2006. She was married for 23 years to Michael Curwin, and together, they were the only husband and wife team of first assistant prosecutors in New Jersey.  

Audrey does not shy away from calling out what she considers unacceptable attitudes and common preconceptions. She delves into her experience of raising her eldest child, Jillian, who was born with achondroplasia, which is a form of dwarfism. Audrey, her late husband, Michael, and their son, Ben were all born average height. Jillian’s diagnosis brought with it a lot of unknowns and fears and opened a window into the world of labels, accessibility, advocacy, alternate perspectives, and unique challenges. Michael and Audrey were always deeply committed to the idea that Jillian should not be defined by her stature, disability, or diagnosis, but by who she was as a human being

Today, Jillian is a strong, witty, intelligent, fashionable, creative advocate. She is host of the podcast, “Always Looking Up.” In this episode, we will hear from Audrey how words matter, the many ways that the entertainment industry has marginalized little people, and how people diagnosed with dwarfism are often left out of the accessibility formula.

FROM THIS EPISODE

Osteogenesis Imperfecta 
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is an inherited (genetic) bone disorder that is present at birth. It is also known as brittle bone disease. 

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/osteogenesis-imperfecta

 

Skeletal Displaysia
Skeletal dysplasia is the medical term for a group of about 400 conditions that affect bone development, neurological function, and cartilage growth, including its most common form, achondroplasia.

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/skeletal-dysplasia

 

Achondroplasia
Achondroplasia is a form of short-limbed dwarfism. The word achondroplasia literally means “without cartilage formation.” https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/condition/achondroplasia/

 

Little People of America
https://www.lpaonline.org

 

The Missing Piece – Animated Shel Silverstein:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gEjCJOzqXc

 

The Cracked Pot Children’s Story
https://alltimeshortstories.com/life-the-cracked-pot/

 

Crip Camp: The Film
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRrIs22plz0

 

Crip Camp: The Revolution
https://cripcamp.com

 

FINDING JILLIAN 

Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/always-looking-up/id1567615385

Instagram:@jill_ilana@alwayslookingup.podcast

Website:https://www.jillianilana.com

Email:alwayslookingup227@gmail.com

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The Wisdom Shared Team

  • Audio Engineering by Steve Heatherington of Good Podcasting Works
  • Co-Producer and Marketing Coordinator: Kayla Nelson
  • Production Assistant: Becki Leigh

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