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Genetic counselling

This section has information on the following topics:

  • What genetic counselling can offer to families.
  • What happens when someone is referred to the clinical genetics service for genetic counselling.
  • Current knowledge about genetic causes of deafness.
  • Genetic testing looking for a cause of deafness within a family.

This is an overview of current knowledge and the information should be used to support discussions with your child’s doctor(s) about genetic counselling and genetic testing. It’s important that you discuss your own family’s situation in detail as each family will be different. Health professionals with expertise in genetics can give you more details about how this information relates to you and your family.

If it’s appropriate, your child’s doctor or another health professional can arrange a referral to a clinical genetics service for genetic counselling. Here you would see a genetics clinician: either a clinical geneticist (specialist genetics doctor) or a genetic counsellor (a clinician with a background in nursing and/or genetics and training in clinical genetics and counselling).

It’s important to remember that genetics knowledge is moving forward very fast so this section will be updated with new and relevant information. A lot of this information is unavoidably complicated so you might want to go through it with someone else. This could be a genetics clinician or, your audiologist, paediatrician, Teacher of the Deaf or GP. You can also contact our Helpline.