My Kid Is Not Crazy: A Search for Hope in the Face of Misdiagnosis
PANDAS Documentary by Tim Sorel
Groundbreaking, Emmy Nominated documentary on PANDAS by Tim Sorel, My My Kid Is Not Crazy: A Search for Hope in the Face of Misdiagnosis is now available for free on Youtube.
Come glimpse into the world of PANS PANDAS. You will journey into the lives of six families and meet medical professionals that treat them.
More than 30 years ago, Susan Swedo—a doctor with the National Institutes of Health—discovered that an undiagnosed strep infection was the cause of one child’s disabling illness. The more Swedo dug, the more evidence she found: Strep was linked to symptoms normally chalked up to psychiatric illness. She also discovered how non-accepting modern medicine can be of new ideas.
Swedo has put her reputation and career in jeopardy as she fights to cure the condition she named: Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS). Neurologists Jonathan Mink, Roger Kurlan, Harvey Singer and others publicly ridicule Swedo and her PANDAS theory, creating controversy over diagnoses and treatment. This group has become known on social media as the “non-believers.” The result: the entire pediatric-care industry is confused and doesn’t know what to do…and it’s the children who suffer.
About the Film
One PANDAS Family
Nine-year-old Kathryn Ulicki was a normal, healthy child. She was a star student, athlete and dancer. In a matter of days, she would become totally dysfunctional. Kathryn had alarming rapid-onset OCD refusing to eat or drink. She had tremendous separation anxiety and would become panicked if her parents were not in sight. She had trouble sleeping and showed signs of age regression in vocabulary and handwriting. The Ulickis and many families like them— turned to a fractured medical system, where there is fierce disagreement about how to help their daughter. More often than not, a child with these symptoms would be diagnosed as having a mental illness. They’d be treated with anti-psychotic medication, behavior therapy, and even hospitalization. The film follows the Ulicki’s and reveals how a parent needs to quickly become a medical expert and take control of their child’s healthcare decisions.
The Kid Who Was Missed
Drew Maxwell, now 18, went through more than 11 years of misdiagnoses. From the age of 6, Drew was given more than a dozen psychiatric, anti-anxiety and anti-depressants. She was hospitalized for seven weeks in a psychiatric hospital. The teen became despondent and suicidal. Her tenacious mother Tiffani stuck by her ailing daughter when the rest of Drew’s family abandoned her…writing her off as a psychiatric case. The lm recounts Drew’s unbelievable childhood as no one in the medical community could figure out what was wrong. Fed-up with the lack of response from the medical community, parents like Tiffani use social media to bond by the hundreds of thousands of parents
Director Tim Sorel (Women, Children and AIDS, The Trap Of Saving Cambodia, Lifecasters) is a University of Florida Professor and documentary filmmaker. Inspired by chance meetings with parents who had children with PANDAS symptoms, Sorel set out on a two-and-a-half-year journey embedding with several families as they navigate a nearly impossible medical system, insurance denials and general non-acceptance of these children. Sorel also interviews the nationʼs top experts in science, medicine and treatment to separate fact from fiction. More about the documentary.
Producer-Director: Tim Sorel
Editor: Christine Mitsogiorgakis
Cinematographers: Travis Herbet Chapman, Nick Cravey
Music Composer: Anthony Espina
Production company: 4 the Kids Films Post-Production: Studio 601 Inc.