From SEN Wiki
- PANS (Paediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome) and PANDAS (Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) are a broad spectrum of acute onset neuropsychiatric conditions that may include OCD, tics, severe eating restrictions, cognitive, behavioral and neurological symptoms.
- Triggers may include strep throat, influenza, hand foot and mouth disease, chicken pox, pneumonia, allergens, anxiety, trauma or other environmental factors.
- In simple terms, instead of becoming ill with a sore throat, sore ears, temperature, etc…, the immune system attacks a small area of the brain called the Basal Ganglia which controls voluntary motor movements, procedural learning, habits and emotion.
- Some children suffer debilitating flares while others function enough to continue to go to school.
- PANS/PANDAS symptoms may relapse and remit. During subsequent flares, symptoms can worsen and new symptoms may manifest. Children are often misdiagnosed with psychiatric problems, ASD or ADHD.
- Source: PANS/PANDAS UK School Information Sheet
Supporting students with PANS/PANDAS
|Anxiety: Difficulty separating from main carer which may result in poor attendance||Flexibility, shorter days, earlier or later starts|
|Underachievement: Deterioration in school performance. E.g. Cognitive changes, memory issues, dysgraphia, Maths deterioration, difficulties in Art and loss of motor skills. Refusal to do homework||Extra time and support, laptop use if appropriate and homework accommodations|
|Sensory Abnormalities: Inability to wear certain items of clothing/footwear, increased sensitivity to light and sound||Accommodate the child’s heightened sensory issues enabling them to attend school and provide a ‘safe’ place to go if overwhelmed|
|Perceptual & Physical issues: Tics and bodily movements affecting fine and gross motor skills||Provide understanding and acceptance|
|Incontinence or urinary frequency||New onset enuresis for a child who was toilet trained or a constant need to leave the classroom to use the bathroom. Accommodate with discretion the child’s need to have frequent visits to the bathroom.|
|Restricted food or water intake: Inability to eat normally or restrictive diet||Allow child to have access to water and snacks if required|
|Social Issues with peers: Victim of bullying||Education of peers, awareness and support|
|OCD: Need to carry out compulsions||Awareness and support|