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ASWB Exam Practice – Failure to Thrive

Here's another free ASWB exam practice question.

Children may be diagnosed with failure to thrive when:

A. Their height is stunted compared to their peers.

B. They are underweight compared to their peers.

C. They don't reach developmental milestones on time.

D. They fall behind academically at school.

If you've done social work with kids and families, you may not have to skip a beat to answer this correctly. Or maybe you just know this. For everyone else, a process of elimination (aka a best guess) is going to be your route to answering correctly.

First, worth noting: this isn't from the DSM. "Failure to thrive" is a medical diagnosis. Even if you've never heard the term, the question stem helps out and lets you know this is something diagnosed in children. And, since this is social work, you're probably right in thinking the most vulnerable kids are the most likely focus here. That is, young kids. Kids too young for school. So you can scratch answer D. And, while you're at it, strike C. too.

That leaves a choice between height or weight. Which is a better indicator of medical (and emotional) problems?

Take a pick.

Which is likely to show up first? Which is more alarming? Which would you worry about more if you saw it in a family member? Not stunted height, right? Weight significantly below the norm. That's going to be more troubling to both doctors and social workers. And that's the right answer, the second one:  They are underweight compared to their peers.

For more on the topic, here's kidshealth.org.

Narrowing down to two possible answers is a typical social work licensing exam-takers experience. Over and over again, you can narrow to two decent answers. How do you get to the best one? Go with your gut. And how do you learn to trust your gut? Practice, practice, practice. Sign up for SWTP'd complete practice tests to get going. Good luck!

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