Charities have helped hundreds of families of children with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or ME, who have been investigated on suspicion of a rare form of child abuse known as Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII).
FII, also known as Munchausen’s Syndrome by proxy or Factitious Disorder, occurs when a parent or carer exaggerates or deliberately causes the symptoms of a child’s illness.
It affects fewer than 50 people a year. Yet hundreds of families of the estimated 25,000 children with ME have been probed by social services looking into whether they suffer from FII.
The Association of Young People with ME (AYME) has helped many parents under suspicion, even going to court, with at least two families a week asking for help after social services become involved in their child’s case.