Speaking to a growth specialist

If you are referred to a child growth specialist or paediatric endocrinologist, here are some practical questions and resources to help plan for your visit.

How to prepare before meeting a child growth specialist

If your child has to visit a specialist, it is important that you understand as much as possible about your child’s potential diagnosis. Here are some practical questions you may want to ask the specialist. You can write in the answers you receive and take notes for future visits.

What tests need to be done to confirm if my child has a growth problem?
What has my child been diagnosed with?
How long will my child have this condition?
What will the impact of this condition be on my child’s life?
Will my child need treatment and what will the treatment involve?
What can I do to help manage my child’s condition?

Understanding the terminology

When visiting your child’s doctor they may talk about measuring your child’s growth using a few different terms. Take a look at the below list to help feel prepared.

Percentiles: Percentiles are often found on growth charts and indicate how your child’s height and weight compares with the average child for their age group and sex.

Growth Velocity: A child’s annual growth rate is often referred to as growth velocity. The doctor will most likely look at the change in your child’s height and weight from year to year and see if he or she is growing as expected for their age group.

Bone Age X-Ray: By taking a simple X-ray of your child’s left hand and wrist, a radiologist can see if your child’s bone age matches their age.

Mid-Parental Target Height: This is a method used to estimate the target height of a child based on both parents’ heights. This helps the doctor evaluate whether your child is growing at the expected rate.

Head Circumference: A routine measure in children up to three to four years of age ‒ as this is a period of rapid brain growth. This helps ensure that your child is growing proportionally and that their brain is growing properly.

Link to other sites

There are a range of patient association groups out there to help you and your child living with a growth disorder. Take a look at some of our recommended partners: