Zach and Tori Roloff’s baby is a dwarf, but that doesn’t mean that the Little People, Big World grandbaby won’t have a rich and fulfilling life. The type of dwarfism Jackson Kyle has – achondroplasia – affects people differently. What’s more, culture is evolving, and the world is more accommodating of, and accepting of, people with disabilities than it was even when Jackson’s dad, Zach, was growing up with dwarfism.
Possibly Life-Threatening Medical Complications
As Healthline reports, achondroplasia can cause a variety of health problems (although that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will; more on that in a couple of paragraphs). Some of those problems can include the following.
- Delays in walking and other motor skills.
- Hydrocephalus – so-called “water on the brain.”
- Frequent ear infections.
- Bowing of the legs.
- Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal that can compress the spinal cord.
Jackson’s father, Zachary Roloff, and his grandfather, Matt Roloff, both know all about those health complications from dwarfism. Zach has had a host of medical problems throughout his life, including a shunt in his head to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid. That shunt famously failed back when Zach was a teenager, during the original run of Little People, Big World. And it appears he’s having problems with it again; as Radar Online reports, he’s recently been experiencing headaches and severe vomiting.
— Carolina Blanco (@Nnablanko) May 19, 2017
Jackson’s grandfather, Matt, who has a different form of dwarfism, has also had health problems throughout his life, including multiple surgeries, as well as using crutches and a motorized cart to get around.
However, Jackson’s grandmother, Amy, has achondroplasia and has had comparatively few health problems throughout her life (beyond the normal wear and tear on the human body, of course).
— Carolina Blanco (@Nnablanko) May 18, 2017
Even if Jackson Kyle is fortunate like his grandmother and makes it through life with few medical problems, he’s still in for a difficult road, as his father explains.
“You have to encourage a dwarf child a little more because it will take them five steps to do what others can do in two. But I knew, dwarf or not, I was going to parent my child with the mentality that not everyone gets a trophy. You have to earn it.”
He won’t be able to play sports (unless he’s fortunate enough to find a league for kids with disabilities), and he will almost certainly experience bullying like his father did.
Beyond that, however, Jackson Kyle has been born into a world that just isn’t ready for him, and he’ll have barriers to overcome. That’s why his grandfather, Matthew, has built a successful business — Direct Access Solutions — that helps people with dwarfism integrate into the travel and tourism industry.
Of course, finding hotel rooms that will be able to accommodate him will be one of the more minor problems Jackson will likely face in his life.
The Most Important Things
Despite the difficulties that he’s sure to face, Jackson Kyle has one advantage that many disabled kids — and even many non-disabled kids — don’t have: a supportive and loving family to serve as a support structure. Further, he has a father, grandfather, and grandmother who all know what he is going through and will be able to help him. And beyond that, he has two uncles (Jeremy and Jacob) and an aunt (Molly) who are undoubtedly going to love him to pieces.
In other words, Zach and Tori Roloff’s baby is going to have a rough road ahead, but with his family and friends (and their supporters in TV-Land) behind him, he’s going to do all right.
[Featured Image by Zach Roloff/Instagram]