PANS is a medical condition in which symptoms affect a student’s ability to attend school and learn.
PANS not only impacts the physical health of a student but also causes psychological, neurological, behavioral, and developmental difficulties.
Symptomology and symptom severity vary from student to student and even from flare to flare in the same student. The goal of treatment is to achieve full recovery in order to prevent the student’s condition from becoming a chronic, debilitating illness. Treatment includes medical protocols as well as therapeutic practices. School accommodations are an essential component of a thorough and appropriate treatment protocol.
PANS Symptoms Seen at School at a Glance
- Restricted Eating
- School Related Anxiety
- Separation Anxiety
- School Refusal
- Vocal and motor tics
- Behavioral Regression
- Urinary Frequency
- Behavioral Changes: Increased oppositional defiance, rage, emotional lability, depression
- Academic Regression: decline in handwriting, arithmetic, reading skills
- Executive Planning Issues
- Processing Delays
- Sensory Issues
- Impulsivity, Inattention, Limited Concentration
- Decreased physical & mental
Individualized and Flexible Plans
Most PANS students require individualized school accommodations to some degree, ranging from an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to a 504 plan, to an Individualized Health Care Plan (ICHP) to non-formalized supports built into classroom friendly strategies.
“Writing the plans with the most difficult days in mind will assure that the child can receive adequate accommodations without revisiting the 504 or IEP process often.”Clinical Management of Pediatric Acute-Onset-Neuropsychiatric Syndrome: Part I–Psychiatric and Behavioral Interventions, Margo Thienemann, MD et al
Key Take Away Points
- Kids can get better
- PANS/PANDAS is medical
- PANS affects multiple domains of learning
- Don’t blame the child for his/her illness
- PANS is essentially a spectrum disorder
- All treatments and accommodations must be individualized
- Symptoms are relapsing and remitting
- The whole team must communicate and collaborate
- Schools need to provide fluid access in and out of service
- Plan for the worst and hope for the best