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Areas of Care

Metabolic Genetics Clinic

About us

The Genetic Metabolic Diseases Program at SickKids diagnoses and treats children with inborn errors of metabolism. We manage metabolic diseases, such as amino acid, fatty acid, organic acid, sugar disorders, lysosomal storage, peroxisomal or mitochondria disorders. We also see children with recurrent unexplained illness or progressive deterioration in physical or mental status; children with unexplained developmental delay, cognitive impairment, seizures, autism or autistic-like features; infants with a positive newborn screen; and children with a positive family history of a metabolic disease. Due to the nature of the conditions, many patients will be followed from diagnosis until adulthood.

Contact us

You can reach us at 416-813-5753.

Clinic/registration location

Monday to Wednesday Clinics

The first thing to do is to go to Clinic 9, Main Floor, Burton Wing. From the University Avenue entrance, walk down the hall to your right (in the opposite direction of Shoppers Drug Mart) and turn down the first hallway on your left. Metabolic Genetics is the first clinic on the right side of this hall.

From the Elizabeth Street entrance and parking garage elevators, walk all the way down Main Street towards Shoppers Drug Mart. At the Family Centre turn left. At the end of this hallway you will find the Metabolic Genetics registration and waiting area.

Monday morning registration and waiting area is Room M120 (door marked “Allergy Clinic”). Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning registration and waiting area is Room M100.

Thursday Clinics

The Thursday clinic is located at 525 University Ave, Suite 940. Take the elevator to the 9th floor.

If parking at SickKids, exit the hospital at the University Avenue entrance (located beside Shoppers Drug Mart). Follow the driveway to the left and cross Elm Street southbound to 525 University Avenue (blue office building).

After registration, a SickKids identification (ID) band will be placed on your child. The band must be worn on your child’s arm or ankle at all times. Check your child’s ID band to make sure the information is right. If your child is not wearing a band or has the wrong one, it can lead to errors that can result in the wrong care for your child. Staff must always check the band before providing care to your child. Your child must keep the band on at all times while at SickKids.

When you register, a SickKids identification (ID) band will be placed on your child. The band must be worn on your child's arm or ankle at all times. Check your child's ID band to make sure the information is correct. If your child is not wearing a band or has the wrong one, it can lead to errors that can result in the wrong care for your child. Staff must always check the band before providing care to your child. Your child must keep the band on at all times while at SickKids.

If you or your child are sick before your appointment

Call the clinic if you or your child have had a cold, cough, diarrhea, fever or rash within two days of your appointment, or have been sick with or exposed to chicken pox in the last three weeks. Your appointment may need to be rescheduled. 

Tell the clerk, nurse or doctor if your child has been in a hospital outside of Canada within the last 12 months. 

If you cannot come to your child’s appointment, it is important that you call the clinic as soon as possible to cancel and reschedule.

Be on time

Please ensure you arrive at least 20 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.

If you are late, you may have to wait for other patients to be seen first. Allow lots of time to get to the hospital. It can take some time to get used to finding your way around and it is important to be on time for your child’s appointment. Staff will try to see your child as close to your appointment time as possible. Please understand that some patients being seen ahead of you may need more time than expected, and this can cause delay for others.

Bring the following

  • You must show valid health-care coverage at every visit. If you do not, you will be required to pay a fee for the visit, unless coverage or insurance can be verified.

Proof of health-care coverage must be valid at the time of visit (not expired).

    • If you live in Ontario, show your child’s valid Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card.
    • If you live in another province, show your child’s provincial health-care card.
    • If you are a refugee claimant, show your child’s Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) certificate.
    • If you have private health insurance, show the appropriate information or documentation.
    • If you are receiving support from a Community Health Centre (CHC), show a letter from the CHC.
  • Your appointment card or letter
  • Toys, books, nut-free snacks, diapers and formula to keep your child comfortable and occupied in case there is a wait
  • Any medical information, such as referral letters, test results, information about current therapies, X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds or CT scans
  • All medications your child is currently taking (in original packaging), including alternative and complementary treatments
  • If your child is on a specialty diet, please bring your food records as instructed by your dietitian or nurse.
  • If you do glucometer testing for your child’s condition, please bring your glucometer to clinic as well as your blood glucose logs.

Important pre-appointment instructions

Unless your child has been instructed to fast, your child is permitted to eat and drink as normal.

Try not to bring other children to the appointment

If other children must come, please consider taking them to the Play Park during your visit. The Play Park is a free, fun and safe place for brothers and sisters of patients to play. It is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 11:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. It is located on the Main Floor of the Atrium, next to the parking elevators. All children over 2 ½ years of age are welcome. Trained staff and volunteers will watch your children carefully. You do not need to book in advance to use the Play Park. The Play Park number is 416-813-8884.

Latex allergy

Call the clinic before coming to the hospital if your child or anyone coming with them has a known or suspected allergy to latex.

Accessibility

All visitor entrances on the Main Floor are wheelchair accessible. SickKids has several wheelchair-accessible washrooms on the Main Floor. Both male and female washrooms in the Atrium have large change tables where children and teens can have diapers changed. There is another private wheelchair-accessible washroom with a large change table on the Service Floor of the Black Wing in Room S213, across the hall from Rehabilitation Services. Wheelchairs are available near the Atrium and University Avenue entrances.

Assistance dogs for children or parents with disabilities are allowed at SickKids. Please make sure they are clean and have up-to-date immunizations.

Interpreter Services

If you need an interpreter, please call the clinic before your appointment so we can arrange for an interpreter. There is no charge for an interpreter. Please give us at least 24 to 48 hours' notice to make it easier for us to find an interpreter for you.

What to expect during your visit

We have a team approach to providing care. The metabolic team includes doctors with special expertise in genetic metabolic disorders, nurses, a nurse practitioner, dietitians, a genetic counsellor and a social worker. First, your child’s growth will be measured by one of our metabolic nurses, who will also obtain a brief health history about your child. Following this your child will be seen by the metabolic doctors or nurse practitioner, as well as the genetic counsellor, dietitian and/or social worker as required.

Because SickKids is a teaching hospital you may meet doctors in training (metabolic fellows, paediatric residents and medical students). We will make every effort to see your child in a timely manner but appointments may last up to two hours.

If blood/urine testing is required you will be given requisitions to do this after your appointment, unless you are called in advance and asked to go prior to seeing the team.