Wonder Raises Welcome Awareness about Children Born with Facial Differences

Wonder, a new movie based on the New York Times bestseller, presents an incredibly empowering depiction of August “Auggie” Pullman, a 10-year old boy with facial differences who enters a mainstream elementary school for the first time.

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) lauds the approach the movie take as well as the attention that it is sure to bring to facial deformities.

Opening in theaters on November 17th, the movie stars Academy Award winner Julia Roberts as August’s mother, and Owen Wilson as his father. Auggie is played by Jacob Tremblay, a 10-year-old actor who does not have a facial deformity, but is heavily made-up in the movie.

While Auggie has had multiple corrective surgeries throughout his life, he still has noticeable facial differences. The surgeries have allowed August to attend a mainstream elementary after years of homeschooling. While his school experience is fraught with ups and downs, Auggie emerges with many new friends and a growing sense of self-confidence and self esteem.

“Facial reconstruction is not only about the technical and aesthetic results,” says immediate past AAFPRS President Fred Fedok, MD, a facial plastic surgeon in Foley, Ala. “It is about buoying the spirit of an individual – creating sometimes modest improvements – but having an immense impact on ones self esteem and quality of life.”

The movie illustrates this beautifully, he says.

August was born with a condition called mandibulofacial dysostosis, which is more commonly known as Treacher Collins Syndrome. In the US, one in 650 babies is born with some type of disorder affecting the face, skull, and/or neck including cleft lip/cleft palate, according to FACES: The National Craniofacial Association. Facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons are among the many specialists who help address the needs of these children.

ABOUT THE AAFPRS

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is the world’s largest specialty association for facial plastic surgery. It represents more than 2,500 facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons throughout the world. The AAFPRS is a National Medical Specialty Society of the American Medical Association (AMA), and holds an official seat in both the AMA House of Delegates and the American College of Surgeons board of governors. AAFPRS members are board certified surgeons whose focus is surgery of the face, head, and neck. AAFPRS members subscribe to a code of ethics. In addition, the AAFPRS provide consumers with free information and brochures and a list of qualified plastic surgeons in their area by visiting the AAFPRS website, www.AAFPRS.org

For more information, or to schedule an interview with an AAFPRS spokesperson, please contact the Academy’s public relations firm, KELZ PR at 646-450-5359 and ask to speak to Patty – pattymathews@kelzpr.com or to Melissa – melissa@kelzpr.com.

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