My good friends over at the Encephalitis Society have been creating a storm in their bid to create noise on World Encephalitis Day on the 22nd February. They are doing such a wonderful job in raising awareness of the condition and the affects following the illness.
Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain. It is caused either by an infection invading the brain (infectious encephalitis) or through the immune system attacking the brain in error (post-infectious or autoimmune encephalitis).
There are up to 6,000 cases in the UK each year and potentially hundreds of thousands worldwide. In the USA there were approximately 250,000 patients admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of encephalitis in the last decade.
The devastating effect illnesses like encephalitis can have on the person themselves is lifelong and they may also be left with a brain injury. Like all non-vaccinated illnesses encephalitis can happen to anyone at any age and affects their whole life. Their families are also affected, and this can be devastating for everyone.
Returning to education following an illness like encephalitis can cause difficulties such as isolation, as friends and parents may not understand why the child may behave and act differently.
Children’s brains develop throughout their childhood and adolescence. Some areas are fully developed at an early age such as sight, whilst other areas continue to develop well into adolescence and early adulthood. Damage to fully developed areas of the brain may be immediately apparent through loss or impairment of former skills. The effects of damage to parts of the brain yet to be developed fully may not be apparent for some time after injury. This explains the emergence of difficulties with behaviour later in the child’s development, perhaps years later after an injury.
We have created a fact sheet to help families understand a little more about education following brain injury.
Thank you to the Encephalitis Society for all they do and the noise they are making to help raise awareness of this serious condition and brain injury. Let’s give them a tweet #red4wed on the 22nd