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Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder which causes the lungs and digestive system to become blocked with mucus. The mucus can affect a number of other organs. It can vary significantly in severity.
It is common for children with CF to experience persistent coughing as a reaction to the mucus. This can ultimately result in coughing fits and vomiting. The mucus can also make children very susceptible to chest infections. Other symptoms can also include wheezing and general breathing difficulties, particularly after exercise.
CF can also significantly affect a child’s ability to digest food effectively, meaning that they struggle to gain weight and may also develop diabetes.
Typically, medication targeted at the specific difficulties caused by the individual child’s CF is used. Physiotherapy can also be particularly useful.
CF is a disability within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010 and, therefore, can also be a special educational needs (SEN). In some cases, SEN additional support may be adequate, whereas in others an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be necessary. Careful assessment of the impact of the child’s needs is required to establish the necessary level of support and special educational needs advice should be sought.
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