Failure to Thrive
What is Failure to Thrive?
Failure to thrive (FTT) is a diagnosis used to indicate inadequate physical growth–specifically in regard to weight or rate of weight gain–when compared to other children of similar age and sex. The majority of pediatricians will use this diagnosis when a child’s weight falls below the fifth percentile of the standard National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) growth chart or if the child’s weight crosses two major percentile lines.
What are some symptoms of the condition?
Children who are failing to thrive may be smaller in size (i.e. weight and height) compared to other children their age; however, it is important to realize that the spectrum of what is considered typical growth and development is quite large. A child who is failing to thrive may be missing key developmental milestones, such as sitting, crawling and walking.
How will the condition progress if left untreated?
If a child who is failing to thrive is not treated medically and/or therapeutically, he may not achieve normal growth and development, and this may result in significant physical, mental, and/or social impairments.
How do I help treat my child who is failing to thrive?
A medical professional, like a pediatrician, will help to determine the primary reason for your child’s failure to thrive. Dieticians, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and/or mental health specialists may also be useful in exposing and treating the primary cause of FTT.
Our Approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy
Our Multidisciplinary Feeding Team offers the most comprehensive treatment approach for children with FTT. Our specialized team features a speech-language pathologist, dietitian, occupational therapist, and licensed professional counselor, all of whom are trained to deal with all aspects of FTT. Therapy often targets the primary cause of failure to gain weight, and offers suggestions and therapeutic concepts to prevent future growth issues.