Although the symptoms of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) are similar in people of all ages, the life impact of the illness can vary depending upon the patient’s stage of life. This is especially true when youth have ME/CFS, as they have to cope with educational, social and developmental challenges, in addition to their medical problems. Their parents, siblings, teachers and friends also can find the illness difficult to understand and may not be sure how to respond to the young person with ME/CFS.
Growing up with a disabling disease like ME/CFS is always a challenge. Because many people still don’t know that children and teenagers can get ME/CFS, it often takes years for them to be diagnosed. They face numerous obstacles as they fight for a healthy childhood and a quality education.
Despite all this, there is much information available to help families with children and youth who have ME/CFS as well as those who care about them:
- ME/CFS in Youth Fact Sheet - PDF
- Tips for parents of young people with ME/CFS
- Evaluating ME/CFS – A Checklist for School Nurses - PDF
- The Rights and Needs of Young Persons with ME/CFS - PDF
- Improving Communication with Your Healthcare Provider
- A Pediatric Case Definition for ME/CFS - PDF
- School Accommodations for Kids with CFS and Related Illnesses – Blog
- Harnessing the Wind: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and My Son, by Shanon McQuown (Paperback – May 17, 2005)