Genes and chromosomes are responsible for passing on many defining family traits from one generation to the next, as well as certain abnormalities and illnesses. Nemours pediatric geneticists – pediatricians with special training in genetics – diagnose and manage genetic disorders in children and also offer families the medical support they need when faced with a genetic problem.
A child may be referred to a geneticist if he or she has:
- a birth defect or physical malformation
- problems with growth and development
- known or suspected metabolic disease
- significant learning and behavior problems
- a family history of a genetic condition (such as muscular dystrophy or cystic fibrosis)
- a medical problem whose cause is unknown
A family might also choose to see a geneticist as part of a pre-adoption evaluation for a domestic or international adoption.