Little People With Big Hearts

The Roloffs are an ordinary family except for one thing: their size. Amy and Matt Roloff are both dwarfs. They have four children, one of whom is a dwarf as well.

An interview on "Good Morning America" two years ago eventually led to a 20-episode reality show on TLC called "Little People, Big World." The show is getting good reviews for taking a compelling look at a segment of society many people know very little about.

The family wanted to educate people because Matt Roloff, former president of the Little People of America, said that dwarfs might be the last social group it's still OK to ridicule. He did not appear on "GMA" with his family because he is on a business trip in Argentina.

The show is intended to "get rid of the mystique that surrounds little people," said Amy Roloff, whose children say that they often sense other people's discomfort about their family.

"People stare a lot, but I don't really say anything. Most of the time, I walk away," Jacob Roloff, 9, said.

The show also documents the day-to-day activities of shopping for clothes and groceries, and how the family copes with the obstacles.

"I have been a little person all my life so I do not know any different," Amy Roloff said. "We are not mistakes. … We are the way we are for a reason, and our job in life is to find that reason."

Amy Roloff said she tried to pass this attitude to 15-year-old Zach who was born a dwarf even though his twin brother, Jeremy, is not.

Amy Roloff also said that she and her husband tried to help Zach deal with the obstacles of being a little person, especially when he has a twin whose experience is so different than his own.

Zach's passion is soccer, but he can no longer play on his high school team because he has trouble keeping up. Jeremy, however, continues to play. Both boys are beginning to date, and Jeremy has had a girlfriend for about five months, his mother said. It is not as easy for Zach to meet girls so he keeps in touch with other little people through instant messenger.

"Jeremy, he understands the height, not the mentality of being small," Zach said. "Like it's a whole new mentality when you're smaller. Like when he's on his knees. 'Oh, that is what you guys look at.' But he doesn't know what it feels like to be small."

Amy and Matt Roloff were born to normal-size parents who live right down the road from the family's Oregon farm.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...