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My child is at school / Returning to school


How soon after the illness should my child return to school?

Encephalitis is a serious illness and needs to be followed by a period of convalescence.  A gradual return to school will benefit your child’s recovery.  Your child’s ability to cope at each stage can determine the speed of this return.

It is useful to meet with the school teacher taking information about the illness and plan a timetable for return.  

The emphasis initially should be on maintaining friendships and social activities rather than catching up with class work.  Catching up on class work will progress more easily with a brain that has recovered than with a brain that is still reeling from the insult that encephalitis delivers.

Two afternoon sessions the first week will help your child ease back into school.  Your child will benefit from a slow start to the day and the evening to recover.  Four afternoon sessions the second week with Wednesday a day of rest will help you and the teacher assess how quickly to proceed.  

Tiredness is normal following encephalitis, it is the brain’s way of making sure it gets enough rest to recover.  Overtiredness can result in difficult behaviour.  This behaviour may only occur once your child is home.  Teachers may need to be persuaded to allow your child to have short rest periods during the day or to take a day off midweek to prevent overtiredness.

Further Resources

Encephalitis in Childhood Pinterest Board - Education click on this link

The Brain Injury Hub - Returning to Education click on this link

The Encephalitis Society Parent Handbook click on this link

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