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Couples meet with our genetic counselor before having a diagnostic procedure. A careful genetic family history helps measure the risks for genetic problems in the developing baby. The counselor explains the risks, benefits and limitations of the testing procedures so the parents can choose a course of action based on their own specific family needs and goals.
Genetic counselors are healthcare providers with specialized graduate degrees and expertise in the areas of medical genetics and counseling. Genetic counselors:
- Identify families at risk
- Evaluate the family for possible genetic disorders
- Analyze inheritance patterns and risks of recurrence
- Provide genetic testing information and test result interpretation
- Coordinate referrals to other healthcare providers as needed
Individuals and families who may benefit from genetic counseling include:
- Persons or families with a history of congenital heart defects, cleft lip or palate, spina bifida, short stature or other physical birth defects
- Persons or families with genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, Huntington disease, muscular dystrophy, PKU, hemophilia and other inherited disorders
- Persons or families affected with mental retardation, hearing or visual impairments, learning disabilities or other conditions that could be genetic
- Persons with a history of certain cardiac, cancer, psychiatric or neurogenetic adult disorders
- Persons with a history of multiple miscarriages, stillbirths or early infant deaths involving multiple congenital anomalies
- Pregnant women at high risk due to abnormal nuchal translucency screening results, Expanded AFP screening results or ultrasound screening tests
- Women age 34 or over who are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy
- Pregnant women concerned about the effects of exposure to medication, drugs, chemical, infectious agents, radiation, or certain work conditions
- Persons in specific ethnic groups or geographic areas with a higher incidence of certain disorders, such as Tay-Sachs disease, sickle cell disease or thalassemias
Before you arrive for genetic counseling, we ask that you complete the genetic screening questionnaire and bring it with you to your appointment.
Please click here to access the questionnaire (pdf*).