ZocdocAnswersShould my child have a molecular genetics consultation?

Question

Should my child have a molecular genetics consultation?

If so, what will they look for. I want my child to be as healthy as can be.

Answer

A genetics consultation is a doctor's appointment with a physician that specializes in genetic diseases. The vast majority of children do not need a molecular genetics consultation. With only a few exceptions, there are only two reasons for which a child would need such a workup. 1. If your child is having peculiar symptoms that have not been explained or diagnosed, and may fit with with a genetic disease, or 2. If you there is an inherited disease that runs in your family and you would like to know if she inherited the gene. Unless one of these two is true, the genetics doctor will not be able to help you much. This is because when a geneticist does a genetic test, they look for a particular gene. To run that test, they need to know what disease they're looking for. In other words, there is no way of accurately screening someone for the 100 most common genetic diseases. With that said, if you look on the internet, you will be able to find home genetic tests you can buy that do screen for certain diseases. I highly encourage you to avoid these as they very often give false or misleading results. I suggest you schedule an appointment for your child with the pediatrician. The two of you can discuss this issue so that you are more fully informed. Good luck.

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