Considering Genetic Counseling for Your Child

Should You Consider a Genetic Specialist?
You should consider having your child see a genetic counselor or other genetic specialist, if they have a family and/or personal history of any of the following:

  • Developmental delay or learning difficulties
  • Birth defects, such as spina bifida, cleft palate, brain malformations, heart defects, etc.
  • Unusual physical features
  • Hearing loss
  • Abnormal growth
  • Muscular dystrophy or other neuromuscular disorder
  • An abnormal genetic test result
  • A known or suspected genetic condition
  • A family history of a genetic condition
  • Parents interested in learning about recurrence risks

These factors might indicate that your child should have a test for certain genetic conditions. The results of these tests are not always easy to interpret. A genetic counselor will not only be able to suggest the correct tests and explain the results, but will also be able to help you map out the next steps, no matter the results of a test.

To find a genetic counselor in your area, visit

Physician Referral
Before making an appointment with a genetic counselor or other genetic specialist, you may need to get a referral from your pediatrician or primary care provider. Express your concerns to your doctor, and talk about whether a genetic counseling evaluation is appropriate for you and your child.

Watch the video below to learn more about genetic counseling and what to expect from your appointment.

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