Munchhausen By Proxy

Essay by cwegrzynowskiCollege, UndergraduateA+, June 2013

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# Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Abstract Factitious disorder by proxy (FDP), historically known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy, is a diagnosis applied to parents and other caregivers who intentionally feign, exaggerate, and/or induce illness or injury in a child to get attention from health professionals and others. A review of the recent literature and our experience as consultants indicate clearly that FDP has emerged in educational settings as well. Variants of educational FDP include parents of children with real or fabricated physical disabilities who request excessive or unneeded school health services and parents who request extensive education-related evaluations for children who do not demonstrate any educational need. If such cases continue to emerge, school districts will be asked to test more students who do not have disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Also, special educational directors will be weighing the cost of providing unneeded testing and educational services against the cost of defending themselves in litigation to prove that the testing and services are unnecessary. A table of guidelines is provided for school and other personnel confronted with repeated requests for unwarranted special education services. Suggestions for future research are included.

Keywords Factitious . Munchausen . Proxy. Illness deception . Sick role . Special education

"I think my child has a disability I read about on the Internet. I want to request a medical and psychological evaluation for it. Don't you think it would help my child if he had additional services and accommodations?" Teachers, special education administrators,

E. M. Frye

Wayland Baptist University, Plainview, TX, USA

M. D. Feldman

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

M. D. Feldman (*)

University of Alabama, c/o 2609 Crowne Ridge Court, Birmingham, AL 35243-5351, USA e-mail:

educational diagnosticians, and school psychologists have heard variations of this question, sometimes from...