I was talking to a friend about Brock Waidmann, the boy with spina bifida I mentioned earlier today for his upcoming roll as a child with a disability in NBC's The Paul Reiser Show, and she mentioned another young actor whose disability I had somehow never heard about -- Atticus Shaffer, who plays the amusingly odd Brick on ABC's The Middle. If you've noticed something unusual about the little guy's shoulders or the way he walks, it's not an acting choice, but the result of osteogenesis imperfecta. According to a Shriner's newsletter, 11-year-old Atticus has Type IV OI, and his mother has Type I.
The Hollywood Mom Blog quotes Atticus as saying of OI, "It's a small portion of me and nothing more. I take extra precautions where I step to make sure it's safe. And I shouldn't do anything with heavy lifting or anything that could make me slip and fall." And probably use a stunt double for scenes like the one where Brick gets hit by a beer can.
For more on TV actors and TV characters with special needs, read "Special Needs TV."
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