PANS/PANDAS in a School Setting
The PANDAS Network Working Group on Educational Access has developed a downloadable toolkit for school personnel found here, of and has collaborated with University at Buffalo occupational therapy graduate students to develop a pilot 1.5 hour training for school personnel to accompany the toolkit training. Please complete this post-training feedback survey after watching the video.
The PANDAS Network Working Group on Educational Access consists of professionals and scholars who are dedicated to maximizing educational endeavors for our children despite PANDAS/PANS challenges.
We are grateful to the members of this group who shared their time and expertise so willingly: Christine L. Amabile, LCSW; Linda C. Avery, PhD; Christine Brown, PhD; Jamie Candelaria-Greene, PhD, BCET; Mary F. Candelaria, PsyD; Amaryllis Case, RN; Jodi M. Duke, EdD; Beth A. Economou, MS, CCC-SLP; Emily Klein, M.Ed; H. Nicole Myers, PhD; Patricia Rice Doran, EdD; Catherine Teal, RN; & Janice Tona, PhD, OTR
Resources for Our Educators
Whether you’re an educator, researcher, or connected in any other way to someone living with PANDAS/PANS, having a foundational understanding of this commonly misunderstood disorder is vital. PANDAS Network is dedicated to providing our supporters with a better understanding of PANDAS/PANS.
Downloadable Guides and Resources
Find helpful books here
PANDAS, PANS and Related Disorders Education Toolkit
This is an educational toolkit that provides information about PANS/PANDAS symptoms, related service providers and ways to support children with PANDAS. This resource is perfect for educators, school nurses and counselors. Check the links below for educational toolkits suited for each specific role.
Considerations Regarding Academic Accommodations/Compensatory Strategies, and Services for Students with PANDAS/PANS
Here, you will find resources and an explanation of IDEA—the Individuals with Disabilities Act. This document includes the necessary steps to connect your child with special services or special education.
AOTA PANDAS OT Handout
Read more about the signs of PANDAS and how occupational therapy can help manage PANDAS symptoms.
© 2011 by the American Occupational Therapy Association. All rights reserved. This material may be copied and distributed for personal or educational uses without written consent. For all other uses, contact email@example.com.
NYSOTA-Recognizing and Treating Children with PANDAS in OT
How do we recognize and treat children with PANDAS in occupational therapy? In this handout, Janice Tona and Trudy Posner, two occupational therapists registered, share the symptoms of PANDAS, how it is treated medically and provide a case example.
Familiarize yourself with the basics of PANDAS/PANS, including causes, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and other frequently asked questions.
Educators: Frequently Asked Questions
PANDAS/PANS is a lesser-known disorder, but educators play a key role in supporting children with this condition. We’ve collected some frequently asked questions for educators about IHCP plans, student accommodations and more.
How can PANDAS/PANS affect school participation?
PANDAS/PANS symptoms may cause deficits in performance, particularly in the areas of:
- Attendance (due to lack of sleep, fatigue).
- Cognition (including behavior; academics, including reading, writing and math; sensory overload).
- Fine motor skills (handwriting and task completion).
- Perceptual and physical issues that affect fine/gross motor skills.
- Urinary frequency and control.
- Ability to eat normally.
- Social issues with peers.
Depending on the severity, which may change over time, PANDAS/PANS may impact a student’s ability to:
- Attend and travel to school-related activities.
- Sustain focused attention and executive functioning.
- Adapt to transitions and stresses.
- Understand and remember information.
- Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
- Behave in age-appropriate ways and demonstrate self-care and daily living skills.
- Maintain their previous level of physical and mental stamina.
How can I develop an Individual Health Care Plan (IHCP) to bridge a PANDA/PANS student’s educational and medical needs?
- School nurses working with PANDAS/PANS students can implement the following steps:
- Start with collaboration and recognize the need for the educators, providers, family and, when possible, the student, to provide feedback and work together.
- Consider interventions that will address symptoms affecting attendance and participation during the school day, including lack of sleep, fatigue/poor stamina, inability to eat normally, urinary frequency, movement issues, tics, fine motor skill deterioration, separation anxiety, OCD symptoms, poor cognitive stamina and sensory overload.
- Consider schedule changes, alternative activities and placements, transportation logistics and attendance flexibility.
- Consider occupational therapy, physical therapy and social skills support.
What are other ways to accommodate PANDAS/PANS patients?
It’s important to develop safe and effective responses to inappropriate behaviors by reducing stimulation and demands on students, redirecting student’s attention and implementing cognitive behavioral techniques and other therapeutic measures.
It’s also important to consider how your school applies federal safeguards regarding staff’s inappropriate disciplinary actions or techniques. Consider aspects of an emergency plan to address behavioral situations at school that includes behavioral interventions and immediate support (by a parent, staff member, therapist, emergency medical support) and use of specific language and phrases.
In terms of academics and testing, workload accommodations and modifications will likely include:
- Provisions for extra time.
- Distraction-free settings.
- Assistive technology.
- Alternate methods of access and completion.
- Prioritization of task completion designed to reflect competence.
- Use of notetakers.
- Reduced academic or homework load.
- Rest periods with a nurse.
- Adapted physical education and home/hospital instruction.
Discover the latest news and information pertaining to the treatment, diagnosis and awareness of PANDAS/PANS.
Frequently Asked Questions
See our list of the most common questions from physicians and parents about PANDAS/PANS.
Stay up to date with the latest research surrounding PANDAS/PANS. Our curated library of research, articles, case studies and reports helps shed light on this commonly misunderstood disease.
Help us continue to support the children and adults living with PANDAS/PANS.