Writing a character born with a limb deficiency

My main character is a teenage girl born without the bottom three quarters of her left arm. This is a new trait I’ve added to her (meaning I developed much of her character before adding this, so she wasn’t built around it), and the story itself is a modern adventure/fantasy; it’s not a story about that one part of her. It’s about the fantasy world and her interaction with it, and she also happens to have this trait. I’m trying to find information mainly about what everyday tasks would be like for her, and being aware and appreciative of what the reality of the situation would be like it real life, but I also don’t want to treat her differently than any of the other characters; I don’t want it to be her defining characteristic.
To sum that up, I’m looking for anything that would help me make her situation more realistic, what it’s like to have a prosthetic limb, what everyday tasks are like, or anything else I should know.

Just throwing this out there: consider if she uses a prosthetic arm at all. Especially if she was born that way, she could very well feel natural without a prosthetic and feel awkward or clunky with one. I know a guy who was born without most of his left forearm (although he has an elbow on that arm) and while he tried a prosthetic when he was a kid, he found it so much more difficult to do things that he stopped using it.

You have to carry and manipulate things differently than a person with two hands, of course, but for him it’s a lot of, like, putting things on his arm where you or I might hold it in our hand (e.g. hooking the loop of a bag over his partial forearm, holding a box with his right hand on one side and propped on his arm on the other), pinning things between his arm and body to hold them in place or carry them, etc. He may use his body differently than two-handed people do but he’s certainly not clumsy or fumbling. For small manipulative things like typing/pushing small buttons/picking up smaller objects he exclusively uses his right hand, but honestly 99% of the time you don’t even notice when you’re hanging out with him because it’s just… how he is.

I knew a guy once who was born without arms, so he learned to play guitar with his feet. He was good at it too. People are ridiculously adaptable.

Her gait might be affected. We swing our arms to balance ourselves while we walk, and her counterbalance will be off.

I did think about that, and I don’t think she’ll have one regularly, but as part of the story she might use one to make herself less noticable, meaning harder for my villain to identify her on sight just by that. I had this idea that she could have a specific pair of gloves she wear with it, but I’m just brainstorming at the moment. Thanks for your response too, any and everything is helpful!

Interesting, I would have never even thought about that! If you’re born with it you probably learn how to counter act it naturally?

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I’ve known a couple of people with a similar limb difference as your character, and prostheses were not an option they considered. When you are born with it you naturally adapt to a lot of situations, and there is adaptive equipment for things like playing an instrument or doing sports like rock climbing. People are doing awesome things with 3D printers for adaptive equipment.

I was helping to prepare food for a catered dinner when I was at uni and a woman I was working with had a congenital limb difference, one arm ended at about mid-forearm. In my youth and ignorance I thought she’d need help - but in reality, she out-performed me in the kitchen! It didn’t slow her down one bit.

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