Chronic fatigue syndrome or Myalgic encephalomyelitis

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is typically referred to as CFS/ME. There is no known cause for CFS/ME but we have known a number of children to develop CFS/ME following scarlet fever and other illnesses.

CFS/ME can cause fatigue, sleep problems, nausea, dizziness, poor concentration and muscle aches. The current treatment is a slow rehabilitation programme which focuses on routine and repetition. It also means a slow reintroduction into schooling.

CFS/ME has a long-term and significant effect. It is generally recognised as being a disability and because of the significant impact it has on schooling can result in special educational needs (SEN).

In our experience, it is very important to ensure that the educational impact of CFS/ME is recognised as soon as possible. Focus tends to be on medical provision, however significant changes to the delivery of education are required for children with CFS/ME, particularly early on. There may also be a function for social care. As such, assessments should be sought and special educational needs advice obtained about seeking an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).


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