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Pediatric Genetics

Baylor Scott & White McLane Children's

Identifying genetic conditions and providing genetic risk assessments

The genetics team at Baylor Scott & White McLane Children's helps identify and treat children who have disorders caused by an alteration or “mutation” in a gene or a chromosome abnormality.

A pediatric medical geneticist is a physician who specializes in the evaluation and diagnosis of genetic conditions. The medical geneticist can help determine if there is a genetic basis for the health conditions that affect your child and help to coordinate diagnostic testing and care for the family.

Some of the reasons a child might see a geneticist include a family history of genetic conditions, physical birth defects, autism, or developmental delays. We also offer preconception and prenatal counseling for genetic concerns.


Conditions we evaluate

Many referrals to our genetics clinic are for babies who are born with physical birth defects or children who have developmental delay and/or unusual physical features. Alternately, there may be a known or suspected genetic condition in the child or in the family.

  • Family history of genetic condition (for example, cystic fibrosis or congenital heart disease)
  • Known or suspected genetic syndrome
  • Chromosomal disorders
  • Birth defects
  • Autism or pervasive developmental delay
  • Hereditary cancer syndromes
Your visit with a geneticist
Our geneticists use family history, physical examination, and laboratory tests (for example, chromosome analysis or DNA studies) to provide a comprehensive genetic evaluation for the child with a known or suspected genetic condition.

During your evaluation, the genetics team strives to answer three questions:
What is the diagnosis?
Giving a name to the condition leads to better understanding of what a child’s needs are and what to expect in the future. Clear communication to parents about the diagnosis and the genetic cause of a particular genetic disorder is essential.
What is the prognosis?
Making an accurate diagnosis of a genetic condition often leads to information about the prognosis (what is going to happen in the future) for an affected child. The geneticist will discuss treatment options and interventions that are available for particular genetic conditions. A child with a genetic disorder may need to see several different medical specialists. Our genetics team will help to coordinate care.
What does this mean for the family?
A "recurrence risk" simply means the risk (or odds) that a subsequent child or other members of the family will be affected with a genetic condition. The genetics team helps families affected by a genetic diagnosis, because genetic conditions not only concern the affected child but also may have implications for the entire family. A family-based approach to the genetic evaluation is important.
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