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Is it common for the school grades to drop in PANDAS kids? My DD9 has been an A student all along till now. She is struggling with all subjects. Simple things she could do last year she can't this year. She gets so upset now when its time for homework. Has anyone else gone throught this and if so what can I do?

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Is it common for the school grades to drop in PANDAS kids? My DD9 has been an A student all along till now. She is struggling with all subjects. Simple things she could do last year she can't this year. She gets so upset now when its time for homework. Has anyone else gone throught this and if so what can I do?

Yes. My daughter was thriving in kindergarten, but for the 4th quarter, she couldn't be "assessed". That is what they put on her final report card.

 

With prednisone and antibiotics, she was fine by the beginning of first grade. So, the only thing I can give you is my experience that getting her PANDAS treated resolved any cognitive difficulties.

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VERY true for us. My dd 8 has always been fine and little ahead in some subjects. Noticed the decline in math last year just before severe exacerbation and PANDAS diagnosis. This year is still a bit of a struggle, mostly c+ but a D+ in math- she tries so hard, seems she just forgets it so quickly. Did get an A in science (she just loves it so much) Homework is a nightmare. We used to get so frustrated. I have changed our approach and it has helped some. First, I give her a 30 minute break when she gets home, she can do whatever (play, eat, watch tv) she cherishes this time. Then we work on homework. If she is getting really frustrated, I give her another break, maybe 10 min, maybe 30, depends on stress level. While this can be very time consuming, it does help us get it done, and with a little less stress. Forgot to mention, if you are like me, I work, so I am not there to help with homework everyday. Last year she was so independent with her homework, this year it seems I have to walk her through it, especially math. She gets a packet, I have her do the things she can do independently on the days I work, then the night before it is due, I help her with math and we check over the rest. She gets a weekly homework packet so it gives us a little more freedom in getting it done. May have to work a little differently if you have nightly assignments, but the breaks have really helped.

Edited by Priscilla

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YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I can literally chart grades against exacerbations. It is so predictable.

 

Oh... I meant to add this:

 

I don't know about other kids, but in my son, what he eats is also extremely important. I had to switch to feeding more of a "dinner" food for breakfast so he would get more protein and veggies. If he hasn't eaten well during the day, he as a VERY difficult time doing homework at night. This really should be the case with most kids, healthy or not, but seems even more of an issue in these kids.

 

Things I think help:

 

being very religious about giving the Omega 3's

giving at least three servings fresh veggies and fruit

giving fruit an hour or less before studying

I give my son a little black tea when he's having a tough time for a little "kick"

 

This is the FIRST year that my son has been consistent in his grades (for most part), due to the fact that we dose him with azithromycin when he starts falling apart

Edited by Phasmid

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One more thing to share-

 

This was kinda sad. When I told my son that he would be having IVIG, and that he would hopefully be able to concentrate easier and think more clearly, he said, "but that's cheating, Mom." Then, he thought about it and said, "Is it, Mom, or maybe the IVIG is just bringing ME back?" This struck me, as it made me realize that he is more aware of his situation (his challenges/disabilities) than he had ever really expressed to me, and realize that he has memory of how academically gifted he once was! It's coming back slow, but sure!

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Is it common for the school grades to drop in PANDAS kids? My DD9 has been an A student all along till now. She is struggling with all subjects. Simple things she could do last year she can't this year. She gets so upset now when its time for homework. Has anyone else gone throught this and if so what can I do?

 

 

I really needed to read this post tonight, I am so tired of struggling with the school. When my son is doing well they all look at me like I am a crazy, anxious Mom and tell me to relax and let him do his work. When he is sick they look at me and tell me I need to do a better job of keeping him on track and there is no reason he shouldn't be able to remember the instructions the teacher wrote on the board - he was able to remember them at the beginning of the year. My son just finished a 2-week course of prednisone and last week I emailed the teachers and said "please be sure he is up to date on all assignments. let me know what he needs to do. He is feeling well right now and I don't know how long it will last".... Sure enough he started last night with sores in his mouth and continuous flipping of his fingerboard (the little hand skateboard) during homework... today he is very grumpy and stuck in his ways - and he tells me that something is wrong with his memory. He says he can't remember what he did 5 minutes ago or where he put things.

 

I am sure I will sound crazy if I email the teachers again and say "he's getting sick again". I am sure he will have trouble in school tomorrow and if I don't email them they will not be ready for it. I hate this roller coaster.

 

So... someone tell me.. does the school stuff get better after IVIG? (assuming there are no underlying infections)

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So... someone tell me.. does the school stuff get better after IVIG? (assuming there are no underlying infections)

 

Our ds was also a straight-A student before PANDAS hit. Then for 3 years he was homebound / home-schooled and barely got through any work at all. He couldn't focus, couldn't read and retain stuff, couldn't think straight, couldn't do more than 10-15 minutes of work at a time, max. It was devastating to his self-image (because school had always come easy to him) and heartbreaking to watch.

 

Now - after 2 more rounds of IVIG and 14 months of the "Saving Sammy" dose of augmentin XR - he's doing much, much better. He's back in school and getting A's and B's even after the long absence and essentially "missing" some grades. But it's still a bit of a struggle. We had to get accommodations from the school on quantity of homework, extensions for due dates, etc. He does quality work, but it takes him a long time compared to the pre-PANDAS days. He's fighting to keep up with the workloads and the homework does exhaust him by end of day.

 

So things continue to improve, and school is getting easier... but we believe his brain is still healing, so reasonable accommodations are key.

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OMG, homework is the worst! My son also has short-term memory problems but, because his handwriting is so bad, he doesn't want to write anything down so he does his math in his head. His ability to do his homework waxes and wanes with his other symptoms. When he is having a bad time it takes sooooo long to do homework, and sometimes I just write a note to the teacher saying that we'll have to finish it over the weekend. Unfortunately, he's not very stable yet so we have week to week and even day to day changes. (One night he had me write on his paper that "[he] is very stressed out about homework." For some reason after writing that down he was able to do his homework, and he turned it into the teacher that way.)

 

We put him in a new school this year (private) that is especially for special ed students. I love the flexibility they allow! He's pretty good in math and science, so he takes those with the 9th graders, but behind in language arts, so he takes that with the 7th graders. (He's in 8th grade.) Also, we try to keep in close touch with the teachers--I let them know if he's having a particularly difficult time and they let me know if they notice any changes in his behavior in school.

 

We've found that finding the right school has made all the difference in the world. This year is the first time he's been happy to go to school. He used to sit in the car and cry many mornings before finally getting out and going to class. At his last school we tried to describe my son's problems to the special ed director. Her response "We all have our little challenges." Agh!

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Our ds was also a straight-A student before PANDAS hit. Then for 3 years he was homebound / home-schooled and barely got through any work at all. He couldn't focus, couldn't read and retain stuff, couldn't think straight, couldn't do more than 10-15 minutes of work at a time, max. It was devastating to his self-image (because school had always come easy to him) and heartbreaking to watch.

 

Now - after 2 more rounds of IVIG and 14 months of the "Saving Sammy" dose of augmentin XR - he's doing much, much better. He's back in school and getting A's and B's even after the long absence and essentially "missing" some grades. But it's still a bit of a struggle. We had to get accommodations from the school on quantity of homework, extensions for due dates, etc. He does quality work, but it takes him a long time compared to the pre-PANDAS days. He's fighting to keep up with the workloads and the homework does exhaust him by end of day.

 

So things continue to improve, and school is getting easier... but we believe his brain is still healing, so reasonable accommodations are key.

We're in the same boat as WD. DS is a straight-A student again, but it is not without a fair amount of both a) struggle and B) accommodations by the school. I agree . . . those accommodations are key because when he needs them, they're there to support him. When he doesn't need them as much, he doesn't access them as consistently or to the maximum permitted degree. But having that "safety net" is invaluable.

 

Interestingly, our IOCDF newsletter arrived in our mailbox just a couple of days ago, and in it was an article written by a PhD (name's not coming to mind at the moment) titled "Obsessive Homework." DS and I read the article together and were almost bowled over by the similarities described there and what DS experiences, especially when he's not fully healthy. I made a copy of it and routed it to DS's teachers, IEP caseworker, school social worker, etc., I thought it was so great at illustrating what he's dealing with and going through. Speed . . . or lack thereof . . . is our biggest remaining issue, and this article gets to the heart of that, for sure.

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