Amber and Trent Johnston are living the American dream. They have been happily married for 14 years and have five children -- two biological and three adopted -- ranging in age from 6 to 13 years old. Life in their hometown of Barnesville, Georgia, isn't unlike life for most families… with one exception: All seven members of the Johnston family happen to have Achondroplasia Dwarfism.
Achondroplasia Dwarfism is a genetic condition whose characteristic features include shorter limbs and an enlarged head. Yet despite their smaller statures, the Johnston family has chosen not to modify their home with things such as lower countertops, shallow steps and lower light switches. Why? In this clip from the new OWN show "7 Little Johnstons," Amber explains that her childhood experience as a little person in an unmodified home turned out to be beneficial. "Growing up in a household that was not modified made me be able to adapt and be a stronger individual," she says.
This adaptability is something Amber and Trent want to instill in their five kids. "We're teaching our children how important it is to be able to adapt, not just in our home but also outside," Trent says. "We're telling the kids to use their resources. When they come in and say, 'I can't reach it' or 'I can't do it,' we'll tell them, 'Go back in there and figure it out.'"
Being able to adapt to the outside world as well as the home is a trait that's very important to the Johnston parents. "When you step out your front door, the world's not modified for us and it's not built for us," Amber says. "The best place for [our children] to learn how to adapt is in their home, from the beginning."
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