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Genetics for Children

Genetics for Children

If the health history of your family or your partner’s family involves certain medical conditions or diseases, you may naturally have concerns about the effects on your health, as well as the possibility of a genetic disorder appearing in your children. Genetic testing and counseling can offer clarity for your future and any necessary treatment options.

Comprehensive Genetic Services Close to Home

When you or a loved one face the potential inclination for or risk of inherited health conditions, you can talk with the genetic specialists and counselors at The Children’s Hospital at OU Health in Oklahoma City. Although genetic testing is not right for everyone, you may benefit from knowing your status as you make decisions for yourself and your family.

Get Tested to Detect Congenital Genetic Conditions

At The Children’s Hospital, you’ll work with a multidisciplinary team of experts, including genetic physicians and maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists, to understand the effects of genetic, familial or congenital conditions such as:

You and your OU Health genetic counselor work together to arrive at a comprehensive evaluation of your specific situation, which includes your medical history, lifestyle and family history. From that information, you receive an accurate diagnosis and a complete treatment plan in a conversation with your genetic counselor, who also helps you understand what your results mean for you and your loved ones.

Genetic Counseling for Pregnant Women

For anyone currently expecting a child and concerned about the risk for a genetic condition, you’re in good hands with OU Health genetic physicians. You may work with maternal-fetal medicine specialists at our Prenatal Diagnostic Center for testing that can help you better understand your specific situation.

During testing at The Children’s Hospital, your genetic physician takes samples from your blood, hair, amniotic fluid or other tissues as well as similar samples from your child. You participate in a thorough review of lifestyle, medical history and family history for you and your partner. Then, you receive your genetic test results with your counselor’s comprehensive evaluation and guidance to help you address any health issues.

In addition, you and your genetic counseling team identify a wide range of resources, community groups or agencies that can support you and your loved ones throughout your health journey.

Multidisciplinary Genetic Counseling Services

Take advantage of the many OU Health services related to genetic conditions, including:

  • BRCA gene-related cancers of the breast and other high-risk areas
  • Cleft palate program
  • Craniofacial reconstructive surgery
  • Genetic counseling
  • Hemophilia support
  • Maternal-fetal medicine program
  • Metabolic bone program
  • Muscular dystrophy resources such as the national Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and others
  • Neurocutaneous program
  • Neurogenetics program
  • Newborn screening
  • Turner syndrome program

How to Prepare for Genetic Tests

Genetic testing helps you better understand your own or your child’s health, development or risk for an inherited condition. Here’s how to prepare for your or your child’s upcoming appointment.

Before Your Visit

Bring all medical records from non-OU Health clinics and hospitals. Examples include office notes, laboratory reports, imaging, therapy evaluations and IEP evaluations.

  • Review your or your child’s personal health history such as milestones (age your child first rolled over, sat alone, walked and more), chronic illnesses, surgeries, hospitalizations and medications.
  • Review your family’s health history. Consider asking your family members about medical or developmental concerns, pregnancy losses, birth defects, age/cause of death and other conditions.
  • Consider bringing family photos to the appointment. Because traits can run in families, photographs of parents, siblings or relatives that resemble your child can help with the evaluation. For older children, bring baby photos, if available.
  • Complete the Genetics Questionnaire (pdf) and New Patient Checklist (pdf) and bring them with you to your visit.
  • Bring your insurance card. If you have insurance or billing questions before or after your appointment, visit this page to learn more.

At Your Appointment

An appointment for genetics services often involves more detail than other health appointments. Your visit can last approximately two hours due to the complex nature of many genetic conditions.

At a new patient visit, you’ll meet with a genetic counselor and a geneticist. You’ll share information about yourself, your child and your child’s pregnancy, as well as medical and developmental histories. A genetic counselor will draw your family tree, known as a pedigree.

You may undergo a detailed physical exam and discuss findings, possible diagnosis and any follow-up recommendations. In many cases, your first visit also will include laboratory testing, imaging or other referrals before you receive a diagnosis.

After Your Visit

If you received follow-up recommendations, your OU Health genetics team will help coordinate any laboratory tests, imaging or procedures and communicate these results to you. Getting results from genetic testing often can take 4-6 weeks or longer. Your team will arrange follow-up visits to discuss diagnosis or further recommendations.

Your OU Health genetics team welcomes families to call with any unanswered questions or concerns. You or your child’s primary doctor will receive a letter shortly after the appointment that summarizes the information discussed.

Your Expert Genetics Physician & Counseling Team

At The Children’s Hospital at OU Health, your multidisciplinary genetics care team involves a wide range of healthcare specialists who work with you to arrive at a comprehensive evaluation for your specific situation. You and your team meet to discuss diagnosis, underlying genetic concepts and genetic test results, as well as ways to support your family and help you find additional resources.

Your genetics care team may include providers or consultations in specialties such as:

  • Audiology
  • Cardiology
  • Ear, nose and throat (ENT), including voice and swallowing specialists
  • Endocrinology
  • Nephrology
  • Reproductive medicine
  • Urology
  • Vascular medicine

You and your loved ones benefit from both their sensitive support and the valuable resources they provide.

Request an Appointment Talk with an OU Health specialist in genetic counseling. Call (405) 271-4211.
Or request an appointment at the Prenatal Diagnostic Center to visit with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. Call (405) 271-5400.
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