Genetic abnormalities and gestational environment can significantly impact a child’s growth patterns. Many orphaned children have conditions – referred to as “special needs” – that can have major implications in growth and development. Because of these growth implications, special considerations must be taken when assessing growth. Children with certain special needs are sometimes measured using different methods and tracked on condition-specific growth charts. Children with special needs should regularly be assessed by a health care professional in order to best understand the full scope of their condition.
Growth-related special needs conditions include, but are not limited to:
Low Birth Weight/Very Low Birth Weight
Special growth charts exist for infants born prematurely with low or very low birth weight. In order to use these growth charts, an adjustment will need to be made for gestational age. This adjustment requires knowing how many weeks premature a child was born.
If a child is assessed to have low birth weight – weight at birth is known to be between 1500 grams and 2500 grams – the following growth charts may be used by a health care professional. These charts provide context and instructions for use.
If a child is assessed to have very low birth weight – weight at birth is known to be between 1000 grams and 1500 grams – the following growth charts may be used by a health care professional. These charts provide context and instructions for use.
Fragile X Syndrome