P.A.N.D.A.S. is a terrifying and (often) sudden decline in the emotional, social and cognitive functioning of a child or teen caused by an autoimmune response to a bacterial infection, often strep. The acronym stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus.  (It is also related to other bacteria and spoken about as P.A.N.S., Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome.)

   “My child was fine last week, last month – and now it seems I have lost her. 

This is not my child; what has happened??? What do I do??”

If you have heard this from anyone (or experienced it yourself) read more below.  What looks like mental illness may be caused by bacteria and can be cured by antibiotics.  Mis-diagnosis is tragic.  It’s important to know the facts.

If you have questions about a child, please feel free to call (617-593-7344) or email me. If your child is suffering with PANS or PANDAS, I am aware how profoundly it affects everyone in the family!  Please call or email for counseling, support, advocacy, and/or referrals.

Important articles & resources:

Sudden and Severe Onset OCD (PANS/PANDAS) - Practical Advice for Practitioners and Parents by Michael Jenike, MD and Susan Dailey 

PANDAS Network — A website, resource and support network by and for parents as well as schools, and medical and mental health practitioners

Strep Monster — Hosts many different and valuable websites that are very helpful.

Facebook has been an enormous source of information and support.  Here are some pages:

  *PANDAS Network Facebook Page   *NE PANS/PANDAS Parents Association Facebook Page

Saving Sammy — by Beth Maloney (Random House, 2009) is the incredibly moving, true story of a mother’s unrelenting fight to restore her son to health.  "Confined to our home by the horror of his illness, a lifelong placement seemed his likely fate -- until I learned that a strep infection might be the cause…” 

Beth spent many years advocating for children and families and put together this indispensible book:  Childhood Interrupted:  The Complete Guide to PANDAS and PANS.  In it, she explains: what is it, how it makes your child sick, available treatment options, finding and working with the right doctors, dietary interventions, finding personal support, arranging the correct therapy, hospitalization, your child’s legal rights to obtaining an education, and how your child will recover. Top medical experts in the field offer their insights and share their approaches to treating the disorder. This book offers a roadmap to recovery with all the answers you and your doctor need.