TV’s Favorite Sitcom Little Brother Inspires Those With Differences To Go After Their Dreams!

Posted by GreaterGoodness

Fans of ABC’s hit sitcom “The Middle” are all delighted weekly by young Atticus Shaffer, the actor behind Brick Heck. Brick is the smart, quirky son of his onscreen parents Frankie and Mike Heck, played by Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn, respectively. Fans might be surprised to learn, however, that Shaffer has a degenerative disease. His affliction, Osteogenesis imperfecta type IV, is a type of brittle bone disorder.

Even though Shaffer was born with the disorder, which causes a defect in the connective tissue between bones, he hasn’t let it stop him from doing what he wants to do. He has to be careful about how he does certain things, but he doesn’t consider his osteogenesis imperfecta a disorder. Shaffer is grateful that the writers on the show write around his condition to make sure he can do anything he’s called on to perform.
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Shaffer has come a long way from when he was first diagnosed. At the time, he could scoot around on the floor but he couldn’t walk. Now he can walk and do far more. His process involved learning what he was able to do, even it meant he approached certain physical tasks differently than others do.

Through his years on “The Middle,” Shaffer has become a role model and an inspiration to kids who are different, thanks to his character Brick’s odd behaviors such as whispering to himself and obsessions with things like fonts. Shaffer is happy to take on this role.
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He wants to encourage kids who feel different to express their individuality. Atticus Shaffer’s refusal to see himself as disabled is a big part of his personality. He uses his condition to challenge himself to do more than is normally expected of someone with osteogenesis imperfecta.

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