"knowledge is Power": Parent Views on the Benefits of Early Diagnosis and Awareness of Sex Chromosome Multisomy among Pediatric Professionals

Kirsten A. Riggan, Brianna Gross, Sharron Close, Abigail Steinberg, Megan A. Allyse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective:Pediatric diagnoses of sex chromosome multisomies (SCMs) have increased as genetic testing has expanded. However, depending on SCM presentation, there may be significant delays between symptom recognition and diagnosis. We conducted a survey of parents of children diagnosed with SCMs to understand their experiences receiving an SCM diagnosis and their support needs.Methods:We conducted an inductive qualitative analysis of open-ended survey responses for iterative themes related to presenting symptoms, diagnostic odyssey, immediate and long-term support needs, and awareness of SCMs.Results:Of the 323 parents who completed the survey, 185 parents received a pediatric diagnosis (0-21 years) in a child. Many parents expressed feelings of relief when receiving the diagnosis, especially if it occurred after a lengthy diagnostic odyssey. Parents reported frustration that their child's nonmedical symptoms, including learning disabilities, speech delays, attention deficits, and behavioral issues, were not flagged as potential indications for SCMs and suggested that greater awareness of SCMs by pediatricians, educators, and other professionals involved in their child's care may lead to earlier diagnosis and intervention.Conclusion:This is the largest qualitative study to date examining parent and caregiver experiences with a pediatric diagnosis of SCMs. Increased knowledge and awareness of nonmedical SCM symptoms are needed among medical, education, occupational, and psychology professionals for early testing referral and improved support of children with SCMs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E119-E125
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023


  • genetic diagnosis
  • language and speech pathology
  • learning disorders
  • sex chromosome aneuploidy
  • X and Y chromosome variations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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