Information for Professionals
Information, help & support
for those who need it.
Whether you are a GP, Nurse, Teacher, Social Worker or any other professional working with an individual who has NF or helping their family, we have a number of information leaflets which will help you. Simply visit our Media Centre.
We have a specific information pack for Teachers.
If you are medical professional and require Clinical Guidelines for NF1 or the Consensus Statement for NF2, please visit out our download section.
If you would like more information on NF, our forthcoming events or how we can help you further, please contact us on 085 – 172 8594.
This information is offered to help teachers to understand some of the problems that can affect children diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis (NF). This is general guidance only and it is important to discuss with the child’s parents their particular concerns, especially where there are some health factors that need to be taken into account during the school day.
Neurofibromatosis or NF is one of the most common genetic conditions. It can affect anyone regardless of family history, gender or ethnic background. It is a variable and unpredictable condition. This makes it difficult to manage. Some people have very few problems whilst others may be more severely affected. There are basically two separate conditions called Neurofibromatosis. They have different presentations and cause different problems. It is important therefore to be clear about which type of NF the child has.
Neurofibromatosis type 1 Is a relatively common genetic condition. It is usually straightforward to diagnose and does not involve complicated tests. In terms of their physical appearance, you may notice the child is slightly shorter than their peers and has a slightly larger head circumference. They may have several birthmarks (café au lait patches) on their skin. Some children will have other physical health problems that might limit the activities they can do (some examples are loss of vision, epilepsy, or a problem with the backbone). NF1 causes benign tumours (non cancerous lumps) to grow on nerves. These start to appear around puberty, sometimes earlier and sometimes later. They can cause cosmetic problems. Mild learning difficulties are common in children with NF1. These difficulties are not unique; many non-NF1 children may also have similar problems.
Neurofibromatosis type 2: Is a rare genetic condition. It is totally separate and different to NF1. It causes different health problems to NF1 and is not associated with general learning difficulties.It is most often identified in the teenage years or early twenties. However sometimes it is picked up during early school years. The way it is diagnosed is usually after prolonged medical investigations including MRI scans of the head (brain) and spine.
NF2 causes benign tumours (non cancerous lumps) to grow in the brain and spine. The tumours are different from NF1 tumours.The main problems NF2 causes are hearing loss and deafness. Some people may have reduced vision. Others may have weakness in one of their limbs that may limit mobility or strength, or may have balance difficulties.Depending on the child’s difficulties, it is appropriate to consider the Special Needs range of resources to ensure access to all the opportunities that the school can offer. It is particularly helpful to consider assessment by the sensory team if hearing and vision are impaired.
Children with NF do face challenges on a day to day basis. Helping them to develop the skills to deal with these confidently is a challenge but brings great rewards both for the child and their teachers. It is a real investment for their future.