Failure to Thrive Program
La Rabida serves infants and children who have been identified with failure to thrive, or FTT. Physicians sometimes apply this term to children whose growth has slowed significantly or whose weight is persistently under the fifth percentile for their age.
FTT is not a specific diagnosis and physicians are unclear as to its actual cause. Genetic, physical, psychological and social factors are all believed to contribute to FTT, and because FTT typically unfolds over a period of time, its symptoms may progress unnoticed, resulting in delayed intervention. Thus, it’s risky to wait for a child to “outgrow” feeding issues as they can result in health problems and behavioral and cognitive impairment.
It Takes A Team
Our multidisciplinary team addresses the many dimensions of FTT and includes a pediatrician, clinical nurse specialist, speech and language pathologist, registered dietitian, social worker and a child psychologist. Together, they address each child’s unique needs, with their goal being to help patients reach their full potential.
Our approach includes involving and empowering families. As we treat the complexities of FTT, we help parents optimize their child’s development and get the most out of their community’s services.
We offer services on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Our program includes a complete screening and assessment followed by an individual intervention plan and follow-up treatment for the child and family. We provide home-based training to help families enhance feeding skills and the parent/infant relationship.
Many patients with FTT have been referred by their primary care physician. As an essential part of the follow-up plan, all referring physicians receive a preliminary letter regarding the patient's status, a summary outlining the findings of the evaluation and a recommended treatment plan. By keeping referring physicians involved, families are better able to get the support and services they need within their own communities.
Is My Child Eligible?
You can make an appointment for your child with the FTT program or, if your insurance plan requires it, obtain a referral to La Rabida’s program from your child’s physician.
While La Rabida accepts public health insurance and the insurance of many private carriers, families should check their coverage to confirm whether their plan covers this service and whether they will be responsible for any of the charges under their health plan.
For more information or to make a referral to the FTT program, contact Ida Mabry, RN, MS at 773.256.5754.