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Inherited Disorders and Birth Defects

When Disorder Would Become Noticible

02/02/2011

Question:

Would a school begin to see problems with a child who had a genetic disorder at the age of nine? I have a child who was very much seen at the age of nine as being around average or slightly above her peers. I took her out of school because I wasnt happy with the way they were teaching her. She is now fourteen and people are saying that her educational delay is due to me not allowing her in school. She has partial deletion of chomosone 4 and I believe that is the reason she is struggling now.

Answer:

I cannot tell you if home schooling has impacted your daughter’s ability to learn. However, chromosome problems such as a deletion usually cause problems.

A chromosome deletion is when part of a chromosome is missing and is caused by a break in the chromosome and then the loss of genetic material. Chromosome deletions can occur anywhere along the chromosome and can occur with any chromosome. What types of abnormalities or problems are seen depend on what genes are located on the part of the chromosome that is missing and how much of the chromosome material is missing. In general, chromosome abnormalities, including deletions, usually lead to changes in growth (usually small), can cause birth defects and learning disabilities, developmental delay or mental retardation.

The type of problems your daughter may because of a deletion of part of chromosome 4 will depend on what piece of chromosome 4 is missing and how much is missing. In general, children with a deletion (missing a part) of chromosome 4 do have problems - usually problems with growth and learning. The extent of the learning problems or mental retardation may be mild or severe.

I would recommend that you talk to a geneticist or genetic counselor to obtain specific information about your daughter’s chromosome abnormality. They should be very helpful. You can locate a genetics center by contacting the National Society of Genetic Counselors Resource Link at the website below.

Related Resources:

Find a Genetic Counselor - National Society of Genetic Counselors

For more information:

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Response by:

Anne   Matthews, RN, PhD Anne Matthews, RN, PhD
Associate Professor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University