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Effects of Encephalitis in Children

Your child may have made a good physical recovery but children who have been ill with Encephalitis are likely to have some damage to nerve cells (neurons) in their brain which is termed ‘Acquired Brain Injury’ (ABI). This injury can have immediate effects or can be responsible for problems that only become apparent later in your child’s development. These acquired difficulties may be physical, cognitive, behavioural, emotional and/or psychosocial.

The pattern of difficulties that may occur can be determined by a number of factors which can include:

• Severity and duration of the acute illness.

• Location and the type of damage/disruption that has occurred to neurons/neural networks.

• Your child’s age at the time of the illness – previously learnt skills and information are often preserved. The younger the child, the fewer skills have already developed.

• Your child’s previous personality and abilities. Their personality traits may become exaggerated. Abilities that prior to the illness were in the higher range may dip to average. This may present difficulties for you (and possibly to your child) but may be less identified by their teachers. Abilities that were in the lower range may now become a significant difficulty.

The Encephalitis Society is the operating name of the Encephalitis Support Group which is a registered Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee.

Registered in England and Wales No. 4189027. Registered Office as above. Registered Charity No. 1087843.