What does the speech-language pathologist or audiologist need to know about genetics when conducting assessments?
As genetics research and the human genome project continue to provide valuable information on disease, disorders and disabilities in communication disorders, it will become increasingly critical that audiologists and speech-language pathologists understand principles of genetics, genetic testing and genetic counseling. ASHA has joined the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics (NCHPEG) to keep members informed about the latest research and resources in genetics. ASHA, NCHPEG, the National Society of Genetic Counselors and the University of Cincinnati are collaborating on a Web-based resource for infusing genetics in CSD curricula.
Researchers have already identified over 400 genes linked to hearing loss, and ongoing studies investigate genetic links to stuttering, voice disorders, and language disorders. NCHPEG's core competencies and other ASHA resources are a stepping stone toward the knowledge and skills needed to conduct assessments.
Other Links of Interest About Genetics Education
This article first appeared in the August 2005 issue of Access Academics and Research.