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What Causes Craniofacial Microsomia?

April 22, 2013

Are you familiar with craniofacial microsomia? It is a birth defect that alters the appearance and functionality of a person’s face. Most people are totally unaware that craniofacial microsomia, also known as hemifacial microsomia, is the second most common birth defect (the first is cleft lip/palate). Visit Disability Living’s last post to learn what craniofacial microsomia is, or continue reading this post to discover the cause of this birth defect.


The cause of craniofacial microsomia is largely unknown.

For the most part, the cause of craniofacial microsomia is a mystery. While the cause of this birth defect is largely unknown, here are a few things that are known about this disability:

– At some point during an affected child’s development (typically early in a pregnancy) the normal growth of facial features is disturbed.

– Craniofacial microsomia is not caused by what a woman does or does not do while she is pregnant.

– This disability is probably genetic. Parents who have a child with this birth defect have a “high chance” of having another child with craniofacial microsomia.

– Parents cannot easily find out if their unborn child is at risk for hemifacial microsomia. If a parent or other family member has a birth defect, an unborn child might have a higher likelihood of developing such a disability.

– An unborn child may have a particularly high risk for craniofacial microsomia if both parents have the condition.

Most of the above statements about craniofacial microsomia point to a possible genetic cause. Read more about hemifacial microsomia by visiting the following links:

Decrease stigma by learning about disfiguring birth defects like craniofacial microsomia.

Disfiguring birth defects such as craniofacial microsomia not only alter a person’s appearance, they also affect their quality of life. Those who have disfiguring birth defects deserve respect, dignity and inclusion. You can encourage acceptance of those who have disabilities like craniofacial microsomia by referring others to this week’s Disability Living blog posts. Thank you for partnering with us to increase public awareness of disabilities in Canada.

The National Benefit Authority is Canada’s leading service provider of the Disability Tax Credit, a disability program that offers financial support to people with medical conditions, including craniofacial microsomia. We’ve helped over 40,000 Canadians successfully receive their Canadian disability benefits!

Contact us today to learn more!



Image made available by sabianmaggy on Flickr through Creative Commons License.

*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority.  Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.

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