Hi, my name is Dexter. I am 6 years old. When I was growing in my mummies tummy, my arm and my leg grew a bit differently to yours. My little arm stops at the elbow and my leg is a bit shorter than it should be because it is missing a bone! When I was a baby I had an operation on my leg so that i could wear a prosthetic (AKA very cool robot leg) to help me run and jump and hop and skip and do everything that you can do.
You may think I look different, but actually we ALL look different. You might have long legs, short legs, big feet, little feet, brown hair, blonde hair, curly hair, a big nose or a little nose. Some of you have glasses and you ALL have different colour skin and eyes. We come in ALL shapes and sizes and it’s AWESOME because that’s what makes us US!
I can do everything you can do with my little arm. I can eat by myself, get dressed by myself, carry a tray, catch a ball, swing on a rope, play musical interments and hold hands too.
I have one finger on my arm and it’s brilliant for picking up hoola hoops, swiping games on mummy’s phone, building Lego or sticking and cutting paper. It’s the perfect size for drilling holes in the sand or the garden or to scoop yogurt out of a pot or even pick my nose! It’s great!
One day I might get a robot arm, but for now I can do everything I want to do. I love my little arm.
My real leg goes down to the ankle. The hospital made me a new one called a prosthetic. Some people have glasses to help them see. My prosthetic leg helps me walk. It is made of really strong plastic and the foot part is squidgy, just like yours.
Every time I grow, they make me a new one, just the same way that you might need a new pair of trousers or a shirt to fit you as you grow too. I’ve had lots of cool legs with pictures on; a rocket, fire engines, minions AND even a pirate leg! I can choose anything I like for my prosthetic legs, it’s really fun. How would you decorate yours if you had a prosthetic leg?
I can run and jump and swim and ride a bike and do everything just the same as you. I’m learning taekwondo and cricket and i’ve tried surfing and rock climbing. I love dancing and playing the Ukulele. At school, I take part in ALL the same sports and activities as everyone else, and I am always the best at hopping and balancing on one leg!
I am really happy the way I am, but sometimes it can be annoying if new friends try and touch my little arm or leg, or point at me and say mean things. I don’t mind new friends being curious. If I want to, I will tell them I am like this because I was born like this and I’m cool with it, because I know we are ALL different. After that, I hope we can just get on with playing a really good game together and having fun.
My favourite book is called Odd Dog Out, by Rob Biddulph, it’s a story about not fitting in. There’s a good bit in it that says, ‘I love to stand out from the crowd! And so should you. Stand tall. Be proud!
I think we should ALL be proud of who we are and appreciate that being different is REALLY great!