I saw this article today and boy, did it hit home.
When Nik was around 2 yrs old, his pediatrican gave him a “failure to thrive” diagnosis. Nik was physically well below his peers in size and weight. This, combined with his PDD-NOS diagnosis which we had also recently received, led us to fear the worst. I went into a deep depression, not helped by the fact that I had just given birth to Anju. My ob finally put me on Zoloft, to help get me through the days.
Intellectually, I knew that Nik was okay. I was a scrawny kid, and Pete was a 98 pound weakling in high school! I even told the pediatrician about this, and while he agreed that genetics was a factor, he wouldn’t factor that in. So he put Nik through this battery of tests requiring blood work, urine analysis, etc. It was god-awful, because Nik was so traumatized, and was a screaming, thrashing, uncooperative mess. And after all that, the tests came back with nothing conclusive. So then we had to see a developmental pediatrician. I quietly didn’t pursue that route because I was already getting him looked at for the PDD-NOS diagnosis, and frankly, I didn’t put much weight (ha!) into the pediatrician’s diagnosis.
But looking back, I am glad. Because, while Nik is still underweight (he only weighs 31 lbs, fully dressed), he is of average height for an almost-4 year old. The latter is my humble opinion, gathered by looking at his peers.
I remember Pete’s mom telling me of her friends who put their son (Pete’s age) on growth hormones because he was so scrawny. And how she refused to do that for Pete. And I am glad she told me. Because I was able to stand firm when the pediatrician suggested that for Nik.
Sometimes, doctors need to look beyond the charts and graphs. They need to look at the actual child in front of them. And the parents.
And use their common sense.