One week ago, Little People, Big World fans learned that Zach and Tori Roloff’s son, Jackson Kyle Roloff, had been born. The excited parents posed with their new baby for an adorable family portrait and posted the photo on Instagram, as congratulations rolled in from all over the world.
Just a day later, Tori posted a second photo, this one of her kissing her precious son on the head, along with the message, “My heart is so unbearably full. I’ve only spent 4 days with this little guy and I have fallen in love completely with him. This is what I was meant to do. Mommy loves you, Jackson!???? #BabyJK #zandtpartyofthree.”
Since then, Zach and Tori have been understandably quiet on social media, taking time to concentrate on their new bundle of joy. During this lull, some Little People, Big World fans have taken to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to inquire whether Baby Jackson is a little person (LP), like his father, Zach, his grandmother, Amy Roloff, and his grandfather, Matt Roloff.
“Does anyone know if he is LP or not?” asked one fan on Matt’s Facebook page.
“Is [he] an LP?” asked another fan on Amy’s Facebook. “I remember they were a bit concerned on [his] LP or normal size status.”
Zach and his mom, Amy, have achondroplasia, which is a form of short-limbed dwarfism, according to the National Institutes of Health. It is the most common type of dwarfism in the world, occurring in one out of every 26,000 to 40,000 births. Meanwhile, Matt has diastrophic dysplasia, which is more rare, occurring in one of every 110,000 births.
For Baby Jackson to have been born with diastrophic dysplasia, both Zach and Tori Roloff would have to have carry the gene, which is not the case. However, according to a post explaining dwarfism on Little People, Big World network TLC, there is a 25 percent chance Jackson could inherit the achondroplasia gene from Zach and be a little person.
If Jackson does have achondroplasia, there is a very good chance it was recognized from the moment of his birth. The NIH says the symptoms associated with this type of dwarfism are apparent very early.
“Characteristic features of achondroplasia include an average-size trunk, short arms and legs with particularly short upper arms and thighs, limited range of motion at the elbows, and an enlarged head with a prominent forehead,” the site says.
TLC explains that children with achondroplasia may suffer from compression of the brain stem, obstructive sleep apnea, and hydrocephalus, which is excess fluid on the brain. Most LP kids do not have these conditions, but Zach did suffer from hydrocephalus and had to have a shunt surgically implanted in his brain to drain extra fluid. As Inquisitr previously reported, he talked about the experience on the season premiere of Little People, Big World three weeks ago, saying he didn’t want Baby Jackson to go through the same thing.
“I’m not going to say: ‘Oh yeah, man, I wish my kid had dwarfism,” he said. “All those struggles he’s going to go through? Heck yeah! Can’t wait!'” he explained. “But I’m also not going to say: ‘I really hope [he’s] an average height.’ Average height kids have issues, too.”
During the same episode, Tori also expressed her fear that Jackson could be born with dwarfism.
“It is scary. No parent wants to hear that their child is different, no matter what that is.”
If Jackson is an LP, Zach and Tori Roloff likely already know it and will choose the moment they wish to share that information with Little People, Big World fans. The couple just announced that they are starting a new vlog for TLCme to keep fans up to date with their growing family, so more details on Jackson may be announced there.
Meanwhile, other members of the Roloff family will probably remain mum on the subject until Zach and Tori address it. In any case, Jackson will be loved and have a wonderful support system in the form of his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles — whom all have experience living with the realities of dwarfism.
As Tori said before Jackson was born, “No matter what pops out, we’re going to love it.”
Little People, Big World airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on TLC.
[Featured Image by Amy Roloff/Facebook]