Typically when a genetic disease is confirmed, the individual will also be referred for genetic counselling.
Genetic counsellors are health professionals qualified in both counselling and genetics. As well as providing emotional support, they can help families to understand Tay Sachs or Sandhoff Disease and what causes it, how it is inherited, and what a diagnosis means for their child’s health and development. Genetic counsellors are trained to provide information and support that is sensitive to family circumstances, culture and beliefs.
If Tay-Sachs or Sandhoff Disease runs in someone’s family, a genetic counsellor can explain what genetic testing options are available to them and other family members. People may choose to visit a genetic counsellor if they are planning a family, to find out their risk of passing that condition on to their child, or to arrange for pre-natal tests.
If testing shows that an individual and their partner are both genetic carriers for Tay-Sachs or Sandhoff Disease, a genetic counsellor can advise on reproductive options.