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Failure to thrive

Has anyone known or had a child that suffered through this for any reason,and now the child is behind in development? My cousin basically starved her son from 6 mo to a year by only giving him juice and water,no formula. he was taken away at a year. At 12 months he weighed 14 lbs. He's 21 months now,and 20 lbs. He's behind in his speech so far,and the weight is quite low obviously,and he's only 28 inches tall. I want to know if he has the chance to be a normal height and if he'll be able to catch up developmentally,or if the issues will be permanent. the doc says he has a chance height wise if they can get some growth between now and 3,or between 9 and 16.Got any good news for a worried family?


Asked by butterflyblue19 at 10:04 AM on Jul. 22, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • Well, both of my children were failure to thrive. I adopted them after they were removed from a very bad situation. When I got them, my daughter was a toddler & my son was in grade school. Both were behind & both were quite malnourished and underweight when they arrived.
    I've had them for several years now. My son will be a senior in high school this fall. He's an honor roll student with many friends & is very active in sports. My daughter is 11, very social, gets straight A's, loves to read. Both kids are among the tallest of their friends.
    I would say that his chances to be "normal" lie in his new situation. It took a lot of hard work - mostly on their part. I don't believe that either of them would be where they are today had they been allowed to use the past as an excuse or if they weren't held to high expectations. We emphasized that hard work was important and encouraged them to work for what they wanted.

    Answer by justnancyb at 10:12 AM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • i would say with alot of love and attention and maybe get him into speech therpy or any kind of therpy would help, here if a child is behind to do a birth defect or something like what that little boy went through they have a program called birth to 3 and they help get you food,beds for the kids, and give them therpy to where they can walk, talk, and do things like other kids can do my cousin had a child like that and she got him into the program and you can see a big difference in him, good luck to the little guy

    Answer by mom2twoboys41 at 10:15 AM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • Gain in height will pose little problem. The great danger is brain development - a human's brain develops/grows more than it ever will in the first 2 years of life and growth in infancy is particularly important. Depriving an infant's brain of nutrients will most likely mean it will not develop to its fullest potential. However, I've seen a 4 yr old girl brought into the hospital where I work comatose as a result of tuberculous meningitis and when she left, she could say " I'm fine, thank you" The brain has an amazing capability to regenerate itself, again, particularly in early childhood. So, I'll say go for it and shower him with the best you all can give. Who knows - he may be the next Einstein.

    Answer by Nenye at 10:22 AM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • im not sure..and that is horrible. i don't understand how you could starve a baby or child? my son was 31lbs 33in at a yr...hes 15 months now and hes 29lbs 35in...he lost a few pound from sure once they get all the nutrients and vitamins the body needs it will be fine

    Answer by sweet.lil.mama at 10:41 AM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • I think he will be fine. He's already making great progress. He might always have some delays if he was starved... the brain grows rapidly the first couple of years and it needs fat to grow and develop.... BUT at a young age the brain is also able to adapt easily... I think that he will likely catch up with therapy.


    Answer by AmiJanell at 12:33 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • I've never been in this type of situation, but from what I've researched and stories I have heard he has a good chance. It's important that he was taken away at a year and that now he's being given the proper care. If she would've continued to have him under her care for 2-3 or even four years he wouldn't have much of a chance to catch up. He's still young now and with the proper care, proper nutrician, and the proper education he can catch up to all of the other children.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 2:26 PM on Jul. 22, 2010