If you are a parent looking for an in-depth look at PANDAS in children, you have come to the right place. If you are reading this material, it is quite likely that you either suspect that your child has this, or you have recently been informed by your child’s pediatrician that they have this condition. It is likely that you are confused, fearful, and emotionally distraught over this. It is normal to feel this way. This is especially true when it comes to PANDAS. There is a relatively new condition that has emerged, and there is not a lot of information surrounding the condition. However, in this helpful and informative guide, I will provide you with that in-depth look at PANDAS that you have so desperately been searching for.
What is PANDAS?
PANDAS is a word that is set up in an abbreviation form to describe an “Autism Spectrum Disorder”. It stands for “Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections” according to the “National Institute of Mental Health”. Children who are diagnosed with this disorder typically receive the diagnosis after having suffered from conditions such as Scarlet Fever, and the uncomfortable condition of Strep Throat. In most cases, children who experience this medical condition have typically experienced a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Hyperactivity, or even a type of Tourette’s. However, not all cases have had children who have experienced this condition preceding the onset of PANDAS.
The Symptoms Exposed
The symptoms that a child experienced when they develop PANDAS are often the first clue that something is not right. Children will literally become a completely different person in the matter of hours, or just a day. Many would describe the onset of symptoms as exceptionally unexpected. The following displays some of the symptoms that may be experienced. Keep in mind, though, that the symptoms are prevalent to the individual case of PANDAS. Not all of these symptoms have to be present for a diagnosing determination:
- The child may start to display symptoms that are common to the condition called Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. This includes participating in certain tasks or behaviors and allowing those things to interfere with basic day to day living. The child may become irritable because of the fact that they feel that they need to engage in certain activities and/or rituals before doing other things that they enjoy. They may feel “scared” of germs, display a high need to ensure that certain things are organized, and work very hard to keep this organization, and more.
- The condition may result in the development of another condition that is called “Separation Anxiety”. This means that they “latch on” a particular parent or person, and may constantly be underfoot when that person is around. When the person attempts to leave the presence of the child, the child may become quite upset.
- Sleep complications are often quite common in the child that experiences PANDAS. The child may be restless, or fall asleep later than usual.
- You may discover that there are changes when it comes to the handwriting of the child, and how they can do other tasks, such as cutting. This is because PANDAS may result in a decline in skills that are considered to be “fine motor”.
- You may also notice that the child complains of hurting. Typically, the pain is located in the areas of the joints. If your child experiences this after having an infection such as Strep Throat, it should alert you that PANDAS could be a potential culprit.
There are many different treatments that pediatricians and psychiatrists attempt to use when it comes to soothing the symptoms associated with PANDAS. You should know and understand that it will be treated in much the same way as similar behavioral conditions. Therapy that focuses on the behavior may be considered an option. In addition to this, certain medications may be prescribed in an effort to treat the symptoms. Medications such as fluoxetine and those used for similar conditions may be prescribed.
Here, you have received an in-depth look at PANDAS in children. If your child has recently been diagnosed, it is important to know that you do have a challenging road ahead of you. As with any diagnosed medical condition, it is important to research the topic and learn as much as can be learned in order to better understand the condition. Not only will this help you to understand what it happening to your child with PANDAS, it is also an effective coping mechanism.