Pediatrics & Genetics
As a parent, watching your child grow and develop is one of the biggest joys of parenting. But there are a lot of factors that can influence a child’s development and health. These factors often create a delicate balance between nature and nurture and can include genetics, family, relationships, experiences, culture, education, nutrition, and much more.
Genetics & Your Child
Any expecting parents can tell you they have given quite a bit of thought to who their baby might look like. Will the baby have dad’s chin? Or mom’s eyes? We know traits like these are inherited within families — we look for them and we talk about them.
The individual instructions, or genes, that determine our traits and tell our bodies how to grow and function, are located on our chromosomes. We are not all the same and not all children will follow the same path developmentally or medically, due in part to the complex interactions between our genes and between our genes and environment.
Some individuals may have differences that impact their development that cause difficulties in how they function day-to-day. These are called developmental disorders and may include mental and/or physical difficulties. Examples include developmental delays, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, hearing loss, vision impairment, and many others. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 1 in 6 (~17%) children in the United States have a developmental disorder.
Do you have questions about your pediatric health and the role that genetics can play? Talk with one of our genetic counselors.
Do you have questions about your child’s health and development and the role that genetics can play? Talk with one of our genetic counselors.
Do you have questions about your newborn’s health and screening results? Talk with one of our genetic counselors.
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Early Intervention (CDC) offers services and support for parents of babies and young children with developmental delays.
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The American Academy of Pediatrics is guided by its mission to ensure the health and well-being of all children.