In the early stages of the illness, it may
seem that no one knows what the problem is and how to solve it.
This can upset the child, who may feel that no one believes that
they are ill or understands them. Relationships can become
difficult at home and at school.
Your GP or school doctor will be able to refer
your child to a paediatrician or child psychiatrist working in your
local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for
assessment and treatment. The school, including the school nurse
and psychologist, may need to support your child with problems at
The overall aim is to help the child or young
person with CFS to gradually resume normal activities. There has
been some controversy about how best to treat children with
Research looking at various approaches to
treatment suggest a combination of approaches including Cognitive
Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy, and do not
specifically support any one type of treatment. A programme of
gradually increasing gentle activity can help to rebuild your
child's muscles and fitness.
Family or individual talking therapy can help
in overcoming depression, anxiety, lack of confidence, poor
motivation, or family and relationship problems. It is also
important to look at ways of getting your child to continue their
education by speaking to the school/teachers.
Although it can be hard to know when and how
to encourage your child and when to comfort them, it is important
to try to maintain a supportive and positive outlook.
You may find expert advice from your child’s
paediatrician, child psychiatrist and CAMHS team, and education
It is also a good idea for everyone involved
in helping your child with CFS to meet together to talk about
progress from time to time. This allows everyone to share ideas
about the best ways forward - physical, psychological and
Working as a team is important and a regular
review of progress is essential.
Research looking at how children recover has
shown that the majority of severely affected children make a
complete recovery, and others improve sufficiently to lead near