Genetic diseases in children: we’re prepared for anything

At Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota’s genetics clinic, we specialize in helping children with complex needs and birth defects on every step of their journey. We help families searching for the causes of their child’s medical problems as well as those who have already received a specific diagnosis and are looking for support and treatment.

When you first visit the genetics clinic, you and your child will meet with a genetics clinician and a genetic counselor. We’ll have already reviewed your child’s medical history, and we will ask to hear your family’s story. Together we try to find causes for your child’s differences. We explain next steps in management and treatment. We will provide information and guidance to you and your family. This includes:

  • Discussing how your family health history may play a role in your child’s genetic condition
  • Explaining genetic and lab test results
  • Helping you cope with the emotional side of a genetic disorder diagnosis
  • Coordinating care with other specialists who have experience treating children with similar conditions

New discoveries and diagnoses are being made in the genetics world all the time. We will provide you with the most up to date research and healthcare guidelines pertaining to your child’s condition. Here are some of the more common conditions we see:

  • 1p36 deletion
  • Abnormal newborn screening results
  • Ambiguous genitalia
  • Angelman syndrome
  • Anosmia (impaired sense of smell)
  • Allagille syndrome
  • Autism spectrum disorders that may have a genetic cause or component
  • Birth defects
  • Birthmarks
  • Brain abnormalities
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Cardiovascular conditions, such as cardiomyopathy, atrioventricular septal defect, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and ventricular septal defect
  • CHARGE syndrome
  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Connective tissue abnormalities (abnormal bones or joints)
  • Craniofacial abnormalities such as Pierre Robin sequence
  • Cystic fibrosis and positive newborn screening results for cystic fibrosis
  • Dental abnormalities
  • Developmental delays that may have a genetic component
  • Down syndrome
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome Epilepsy and seizure disorders
  • Eye problems
  • Failure to thrive
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Family history of genetic condition
  • Hearing loss
  • Hematology/oncology (cancer and blood) conditions
  • Holt-Oram syndrome
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Klinefelter syndrome (47, XXY)
  • Learning disability or learning problems
  • Loeys-Dietz syndrome
  • Loss of developmental milestones
  • Lysosomal storage diseases such as MPS I (Hurler syndrome, Hurler-Scheie syndrome, Scheie syndrome), MPS II (Hunter Syndrome), MPS III (Sanfilippo syndrome), MPS VI (Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome), Gaucher disease, Fabry disease, or Pompe disease
  • Macrocephaly (large head)
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Metabolic conditions (PKU, tyrosinemia, MCAD)
  • Microcephaly (small head)
  • Mitochondrial conditions
  • Neurofibromatosis Type 1
  • Neurocutaneous syndromes, such as neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, and other disorders that affect the skin and brain
  • Noonan syndrome
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta
  • Overgrowth conditions
  • Pierpont syndrome
  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • Primary ciliary dyskinesia
  • Rett syndrome
  • Short stature
  • Sickle cell disease and carriers
  • Skeletal dysplasias
  • Skin or hair abnormalities
  • Spina bifida
  • Stickler syndrome
  • Supravalvular aortic stenosis
  • Tall stature
  • Trisomy X (47, XXX)
  • Tuberous sclerosis complex
  • Turner syndrome
  • Distinctivefacial features
  • VACTERL, also known as VATER
  • Velocardiofacial syndrome, also known as 22q11 deletion disorder or DiGeorge syndrome
  • Williams syndrome

Kids are all different and so is their care.

There’s no one else with the exact same genetic makeup as your child. While there are countless genetic conditions and disorders, each child is unique in how the condition affects him or her.

We pride ourselves on delivering personalized care based on your child’s unique diagnosis, symptoms, development and more. Here’s a snapshot of some of the services you may encounter when visiting the genetics clinic:

  • Diagnose and evaluate genetic conditions through a physical exam and/or genetic testing
  • Provide clinical management of inherited genetic disorders
  • Connect you with community resources and support groups
  • Coordinate appointments with pediatric subspecialists
  • Use targeted treatments such as enzyme replacement therapy, which helps manage symptoms of lysosomal storage diseases
  • Meet with a genetic counselor, who provides information and education about rare genetic disorders, inheritance patterns and recurrence risks
  • Write summaries for your child’s primary care physician and other physicians involved in your child’s care

Special kids deserve specialized care.

In addition to the genetics clinic, we offer multidisciplinary clinics, which are dedicated to providing concentrated, coordinated care for specific genetic conditions. These include:

And as an organization dedicated to family-centered care, we offer many child and family services and resources, such as interpretive services.