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Special Needs in Waiting Children

With any special need, it is essential for parents to be well educated about associated conditions, treatment/rehabilitation, impact on daily life (if any) and long term prognosis. 

Here are brief descriptions of some of the most typical special needs in waiting children along with links to more information and resources.

Albinism, the lack of pigmentation in the eyes, skin and hair, is an inherited condition resulting from the combination of recessive alleles passed from both parents.

Anorectal malformations

Cleft lip/palate is a congenital deformity with some form of separation in the oral-facial region involving one of more of the following: the lip, hard palate (roof of the mouth) or soft palate (soft tissue at the back of the mouth).

Club foot or talipes equinovarus, is the most common birth defect occurring in approximately one to two per 1000 live births. The foot is twisted in and down. Approximately 50% of cases of clubfeet are bilateral.

Congenital hip dislocation

Cryptorchidism (undescended testicle)

Hairy nevus or congenital melanocytic nevus is a type of mole found in infants at birth.

Heart defects
Atrial Septal Defects are a group of congenital heart diseases that enables communication between atria of the heart and may involve the interatrial septum.

Tetralogy of Fallot is a significant and complex congenital heart defect which involves four different heart defects

  1. VSD or ventricular septal defect is a hole between the two bottom chambers (ventricles) of the heart.
  2. Pulmonic stenosis: Right ventricular outflow tract obstruction, a narrowing at or just below the pulmonary valve.
  3. Overriding aorta: The aorta is positioned over the VSD instead of in the left ventricle.
  4. Right ventricular hypertrophy (RVH): The right ventricle is more muscular than normal.

Hepatitis B is the most common serious liver infection in the world.  It is caused by a virus transmitted through blood and infected body fluids. Infection can come from use of unsterile needles and from an infected woman to her newborn during the delivery process.


Microtia is a congenital deformity of the outer ear. It can be unilateral (one side only) or bilateral (affecting both sides).

Missing digits is when one or more fingers or toes are missing due to amputation or congenital deformity.

Polydactyly, also known as hyperdactyly, refers to having more than the usual number of digits on the hands and/or feet. It is a congenital abnormality.

Ptosis of the eyelids is caused by the paralysis of the muscles of the eyelid. The paralysis can be caused in various ways, including congenitally or from a stroke.

Spina bifida is the term for birth defects caused by an incomplete closure of one or more vertebral arches of the spine, resulting in malformations of the spinal cord. The spinal membranes and spinal cord may protrude through the absence of vertebral arches (called clefts.)

Syndactyly is when two digits of the hands or feet are fused together.  Syndactyly can be full or partial, and is congenital.
Thalassemia is an inherited disease of the red blood cells, which are vulnerable to mechanical injury and die easily.  To survive, many people with thalassemia need blood transfusions at regular intervals.





































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