Behaviour change

Behaviour change

Facts

  • Many children will show a change in behaviour at times associated with changes in home/school circumstances, adolescent development and ill health. Most changes in behaviour will not be caused by brain tumour.
  • Most changes in behaviour will not be persistent (i.e. occur on most days over a period of time) or pervasive (i.e. occurring in multiple environments e.g. home/school/holiday).
  • Most children with a change in behaviour associated with a brain tumour will have other symptoms/signs - these should be looked for carefully.

Behaviour changes caused by a brain tumour:

  • are expected to occur persistently – routinely over days or weeks
  • are expected to occur pervasively – across all settings, such as at home, at school, at play, on outings or visits away. Any child with a persistent behaviour change, particularly lethargy, should be seen by a doctor.

The most common change in behaviour caused by brain tumours in this age group is lethargy (severe tiredness and reduced energy levels). Signs of lethargy include:

  • reduction in activity levels, and spending more time resting
  • lack of enthusiasm or desire to participate in activities that they had previously enjoyed, across a variety of activities and in different environments
  • becoming tired or fatigued more readily or quickly than they used to
  • falling behind or progressing more slowly at nursery or school

Feeling Worried?

Are the symptoms exhibited persistent e.g. lasting more than 2 weeks?

ONE SYMPTOM

Arrange an appointment with your GP as soon as possible

TWO+ SYMPTOMS

Request an immediate consultant referral as soon as possible

If the symptoms or signs are sudden onset or severe, either take them to the emergency department or call 999.