Instead of getting it for her, he laughs and jokes, “Jump! Jump! Come on shorty, you can do it!” That’s what Scott and Hailey Davidson, of Inverkeithing, do in Asda sometimes. Any passer-by would probably think they’re just taking the mick. Which they are.

But what speaks volumes about this otherwise nondescript scene is that 4ft 8in Hailey (36) has achondroplasia, a form of short-limbed dwarfism that affects one in around 40,000 births a year.

She’s never let her height stop her; and it’s this bubbly, positive attitude that has helped her tackle life’s challenges head-on.

Now she and Scott are raising their kids Finlay (10) and Skye (six), who also have ‘achon’, to be confident, think big and reach for the stars.

Hailey, of Spencerfield Road, laughed, “It’s important to have a good sense of humour!

“My own mum and dad brought me up with a positive attitude: ‘You’re short, get on with it.’ “I never focused on being short when I was younger – in fact it made me more go-getting.

“You can’t change it so you just have to deal with what you’ve been given and use it to your advantage.

“If I’m a negative person, that’s going to rub off on the kids – I want them to be enthusiastic and try things. I can’t stand people who are all ‘woe is me’ and want to blame someone or something.” Hailey, however, does feel responsible for passing achondroplasia on to her children – there was a 50 per cent chance when she was pregnant that they would inherit the condition.

She said, “There is guilt there. My mum and dad didn’t have any because it was a gene mutation but I knew it was me who passed it on.

“Finlay was a bit of a surprise pregnancy and I found out pretty early that he had it. Skye was planned and I was gutted when she tested positive for achon.

“But I’ve managed to have kids and that’s my biggest achievement. While I was worried, I also knew I was best placed to be able to help them as I know exactly what challenges they face being shorter.

“Skye isn’t really aware that she’s a dwarf and calls me her ‘teeny-weeny’ mum, which makes me laugh!” She wants the kids to grow up knowing they can be happy and live a normal life – Hailey herself went to art college, did kennel work and used to be a dive instructor in Cyprus (“You should have seen the tourists’ faces when they saw who their teacher was!”) – and is glad there are role models like swimmer Ellie Simmonds and actors Warwick Davis and Peter Dinklage to inspire them and fight the stigma.

She said, “We attend a lot of events and conventions organised by Little People UK (LPUK) and meet people like Ellie and Warwick and it’s a massive boost to them.

“The kids see them on TV and what they have done and it shows them you can do anything. Finlay is a huge Star Wars fan and knows exactly who Warwick is!

“It will be a few years before they’ll be allowed to watch Game of Thrones but there’s Peter Dinklage in a lead role.

“We’ve made a lot of friends through LPUK and it’s good for the kids too, so they know they’re not alone.

“I want them to know that whatever they want to do, just do it to the best of their ability and I will be happy and proud of them.” Having dwarfism has been compared to “celebrity without the fame or money”; as Hailey explains, “You do spend your life being looked at.” When they go out, they have to deal with stares, people giggling or wanting to take photos – some even go as far as leaning over and rubbing the tops of their heads.

She explained, “I walk down the street and people say, ‘Oh look, there’s a dwarf!’ You see them sneakily trying to take a picture – it’s like, just ask!

“I would rather someone came up to me and asked a stupid question, instead of walking past and judging me and my kids. It’s a chance to explain and educate.

“Anywhere, no matter where you go, you’re going to get people who think it’s funny and want to make a joke or make a fool out of someone else.

“You just have to have a thick skin because you’re going to get looked at all the time.” Life with achondroplasia obviously poses “big world” challenges – getting on toilets, opening/closing doors and driving, for instance – and there are also related medical problems, for which the family gets check-ups regularly.

But as Hailey says, “You become a master of problem-solving”: she uses a soup ladle to close her window and stools to reach items, although she doesn’t want to make things “too easy” for the kids, as “they’ll have to learn how to cope in the big world”.

Bullying has been trickier; while Hailey doesn’t recall being picked on while growing up, Finlay has had to deal with other kids calling him “fathead” at school.

Hailey said, “When Finlay started Primary 1, other kids would pick him up or pat his head.

“Because he’s so laid-back, he just let them do it, but I had to have a talk with him – what if they had dropped him?

“His limbs are shorter and his head is larger, it will be hard for him to protect himself if he falls, so he has to be careful.

“When he got a bit older, the younger kids thought he’d be an easy target. We realised something was wrong because he was being very distant and it took ages to find out.

“He eventually told us he was getting picked on. The kids who bullied him were younger kids but once they were educated about how it was affecting him, they stopped.

“It’s been two years since the last incident and Finlay has a fantastic group of friends. He’s very popular at school and they’re very protective of him.” Finlay has taken up tae kwon do to boost his confidence and has also tried new-age curling, football and drama.

It’s not been easy for Scott either; because he’s so protective of his family, he’s much more aware of the pointing, staring and sniggering, and hates it.

Hailey said, “I don’t really notice it! I’m not ignoring it, I’m too busy. If we’re in the supermarket I’m focused on my shopping and what we’re going to have for tea!” Although Hailey underwent leg-lengthening operations when she was younger – she’s now eight inches taller than she would have been – she and Scott have decided not to have their children undergo the process for now.

She explained, “It’s quite controversial. It wasn’t easy for me – there was a lot of pain and infection.

“We were told it would help me and we did it but I want my kids to know they can be happy in their own skin without operations like that.” She also helps other families living with achondroplasia through LPUK and Genetic Disorders UK and recently set up a Scottish region for the Dwarf Sports Association (DSA).

Hailey considers herself privileged that she’s in a position to help others deal with all aspects of dwarfism and educate the public about the condition.

The family is now helping to raise awareness of Genetic Disorders UK’s annual fund-raising day, Jeans for Genes Day, on 18th September.

She said, “We’ve got to use what we’ve got for the benefit of others. If we can help then I hope Finlay and Skye will carry that on – I might have grandchildren who have dwarfism.

“My one wish for the future is that we can stamp out ignorance of dwarfism.

“Some average-sized families who have a child with achon are often shocked when they discover it and they don’t know how to deal with it. Midget jokes on TV don’t really help.

“It’s important to stamp out the prejudice. We’re just the same as everyone else.” For more information on Jeans for Genes, log on to