If you’ve just found out your child is deaf, you may be feeling shocked, especially if there’s no history of deafness in your family. You may want to know why your child is deaf. For many children, a single clear cause is not immediately obvious.
There are a series of investigations that can look for both genetic and non-genetic causes of your child’s deafness. Different families will have their own feelings about genetics and genetic testing, and no two genetic testing journeys are the same. Some families find it useful to know the cause of their child’s deafness, particularly if it’s linked to other health conditions so these can be monitored. For other families, the genetic testing journey can be difficult or upsetting. Some undergo genetic testing only to be told that current tests couldn’t identify a cause of their child’s deafness. Others might find out information about their family health situation that could not be predicted in advance.
This not-for-profit organisation in the United Kingdom offers information about genetics to help answer some of your questions. For most people, it will be necessary to have further discussions with your child’s specialists to understand how this information relates to your family’s own situation.
Visit the National Deaf Children’s Society.