does the youngest boy on the show "the middle" handicapped?

Atticus Shaffer, who plays the lovable, eccentric Brick Heck on the ABC hit comedy, The Middle, has osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), a genetic bone disorder resulting in fragile bones

Osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as “brittle bone disease,” is a complicated, variable and rare disorder. Its major feature is a fragile skeleton, but many other body systems are also affected. OI is caused by a mutation (change) in a gene that affects bone formation, bone strength and the structure of other tissues. It is a life-long disorder.

OI occurs equally among males and females and in all racial groups. It is estimated that approximately 25,000 to 50,000 people in the U.S. have OI. With good medical management and supportive care, the majority of people who have OI will lead healthy, productive lives and can expect an average life span.

People with OI experience frequent broken bones from infancy through puberty. The frequency typically decreases in the young adult years but may increase again later in life. Respiratory problems including asthma are often seen. Other medical characteristics and issues include:

Bone deformity, and bone pain.

Short stature.

Spine curves.

Low Bone Density.

Loose joints, ligament laxity and muscle weakness are common.

Distinctive features of the skull including late closing fontanels, and head circumference greater than average.

Hearing loss may begin in the early 20s and by middle age is present in more than 50% of people with OI.

Brittle teeth (called dentinogenesis imperfecta or DI) are seen in 50% of people who have OI

Respiratory problems including asthma; may be aggravated by chest wall deformity and/or spine deformity.

Vision problems including myopia and risk for retinal detachment

Skin hyperlaxity; easy bruising.

Cardiac issues.

Fatigue.

Basilar Invagination a serious neurological problem is seen in some people with the more severe forms of OI.

Skin, blood vessels and internal organs may be fragile.

To learn more about this condition, visit Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation.

Forget about athletes, movie stars and politicians. Parents are the real heroes—but we think Frankie Heck, must be some kind of superhero. A loving wife and mother of three, she's middle class in the middle of the country and is rapidly approaching middle age.

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Just In! The Middle's upcoming ninth season will be its last as the show says goodbye before it wears out its welcome.

The Middle's farewell season premieres Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 8/7c on ABC.

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