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Why Speech Pathologists And Other Specialists Should Know About PANDAS

Posted by Brian Spence on May 6, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Speech Pathology, SLP, Speech Language Pathologist, Allied Health, Healthcare StaffingA happy, healthy child suddenly shifts their behavior in strange ways. Suddenly they experience new anxieties and begin to display OCD type behaviors. Inexplicably, their handwriting gets worse and they begin to complain about how hard math is, when it used to be a subject that they enjoyed in school. For the parents, it almost seems like their child's entire personality has changed, but it has all happened so suddenly that they feel like they might be imagining these changes.

When they visit your office, you have to try to piece together the symptoms and discover what is wrong. If you look at just one or two pieces of the puzzle, you might miss it. 

They are suffering from a rare disorder that is given the acronym PANDAS which stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated With Streptococcal Infections.

Basically, a child, after having a step infection, can develop inflammation in the brain that leads to PANDAS. A similar process can happen after other viruses or bacterial infections, and it is referred to as PANS (Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndromes). Recognizing the symptoms of PANS or PANDAS and treating children quickly is really important for a child's outcome and future quality of life. This means that spreading the word to as many physicians as possible is important.

Depending on which symptoms a parent notices first, a speech pathologist could be the first person to diagnose the disorder, or perhaps a psychologist will be the first specialist a parent brings their child to, so you can't leave this disorder just to the general practice pediatricians. All specialties have to work together to increase early detection.

If your organization is seeking talented professionals, committed to expanding their knowledge to serve their patients, please contact us.


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