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A question for the old timers on here who've read alot of the presenting pandas symptoms. My own ds has pandas. This question is regarding a neighbor. Her 6yr old dd suddenly one day, a few weeks ago, developed separation anxiety, especially regards school, but also going to other classes, grandma etc, requiring picture of mom at all times. She had previously attended preschool for 2yrs with no problems whatsoever, and transitioned to kindergarten like a breeze, very social, outgoing and loves school type of child. This was all preceeded by a mild sore throat and cold. A rapid strep was neg (at my coaxing but was done a couple weeks post sore throat), ped blew off PANDAS, said get therapy!! My gut's telling me pandas, but then since my ds's pandas diagnosis I'm looking at every kid's behavioral issues through the pandas prism! My question - is it possible to have pandas with just one of the common symptoms? Didn't Lauren (the sneezing girl) only have the sneezing tic as her only symptom? And then what is the likelyhood of two pandas kids a few houses apart? Tonight, she did come out with some strange feelings she's having and thinking so unfortunately symptoms may progress and a diagnosis might be more evident, but if it remains just the separation anxiety, what to do? Thoughts anyone?? Thanks.

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I don't think it's abnormal for a kindergarten age child to have some separation anxiety after being sick. Or after NOT being sick. I know of tons of "normal" kids who had periods of sudden separation anxiety for "no apparent reason." I have worked in church nurseries for years, and kids who are "fine" separating will still sometimes go through phases of separation anxiety. I think we have to be careful about this, honestly. WE have to be careful to not turn PANDAS into another "Lyme" (illness du jour), where it is seen with such skepticism for the fact alone that those who are afflicted with the illness seem to see everything through those glasses. Does that make sense? Lyme people think every symptom is Lyme, we pandas tend to do the same with pandas. WE GET IT. I don't know, now that I've rambled on, this is a tough one........I do distinctly remember, when one of my kids was in 1st grade (my "not diagnosed pandas but definitely has ocd, tics, etc.....) she was freaking out trying to get her out of the car to go to school....she had been home "sick" with something for a few days, and I remember saying to her "come on .... i know, i know...you're just used to being home since you've been sick, so I know it's hard to go back." If I only knew then.......BUT looking back, she also had some occasional tics.

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I think it is age appropriate to have some set backs re: separation at that age. School just started, she has been ill (and perhaps at home and pampered by her mom during that illness). Lots of new things are happening in her independent life at school and age 6 is when social interactions start to rev up. It's diligent to remind other parents of PANDAS, but until further symptoms arrive other than separation anxiety, I wouldn't jump to the PANDAS conclusion. It's diligent to inform other parents of PANDAS, but I think we need to be careful to stay credible as well. Now that thay have been made aware, they can continue to be watchful in case further symptoms appear.

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Since it's not your child, I think the best you can do is just mention the connection to your neighbor, and give her the resources to do the research herself. She may look at some of the examples of symptoms, or presentations in other kids and a light might go off, or she may see the list and be able to dismiss everything on it. I think a lot of folks who had later onset can look back and see symptoms that were less severe in earlier episodes.

 

I just went through a similar situation with a girl at my son's bustop. I noticed she wasn't taking the bus to school anymore with her big sister. I asked my neighbor (her mom) if she was sick, etc... She had told me that a few weeks into the school year (she's also in K), they had a change in teachers, her daughter took it just fine, no issues, but just about 2 weeks ago started going through major anxiety about going to school. She would tell them that she would start getting scared from the time she got on the bus, and by the time she got to school she was shaking, crying, and freaking out. They arranged with the school to drive her in a few minutes late every day until she got "adjusted" to the new teacher - since that's what they were assuming it was. But my neighbor did acknowledge that they thought it was weird that she seemed to adjust well and then freak out later.

 

I simply asked if she had been sick prior to that, they said yes, it started just after she came OFF of abx for a UTI that she had. Of course - that SCREAMED PANDAS to me - cause I've got those glasses on. I told her a little more about what my son has (we've discussed it in passing before as we waited for their busses), and noted that frequent urination and seperation anxiety are some symptoms, she may want to keep it in the back of her mind - I have lot's of information I can share if her anxiety didn't get better.

 

And then I left it at that.

 

Not much else we can do with out becoming the crazy people. I know we want to help every child we can, but if the parent trusts their doctor and doesn't want to consider other options (I assume that from the coaxing you did for the strep test) - there's only so much we can do!

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Wow, I can write a whole book on this topic. I know two kids that I believe are PANDAS kids. I know their parents only socially although one of the parents has asked me about my daughters IVIG and I did share our experience and even gave her some articles. It seems that even when parents have the information, they are in a bit of denial themselves. So many people believe that if there was something wrong the doctor would have told them.

 

I also have had to remind myself (when I started suspecting a third child), that when you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail. My daughter actually told me once that her friend (one of the kids that I suspected) was definitely OCD because she washed her hands after she touched anything and that her hands sometimes were bleeding. So I had to remind my daughter not to say those things to her friend because it could hurt feelings etc. So I agree that because it is such a natural part of our lives (we have 3 PANS kids), sometimes we tend to see it everywhere. The hard part is deciding how crazy would I sound if I just mentioned to the parent that there is this thing you can test for ..........Actually, I have only said something one time, realized it is a very difficult conversation and kept to myself since then. I have often wondered if everyone else has this same issue.

 

dedee

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I'll have to start by saying my DS's initial symptoms were emotional lability and separation anxiety and it was pretty intense and it happened over night after a flumist vax. I have very colored glasses about this as a disclaimer. I'm guessing if this is PANDAS (and I'll take a bet that it is), you'll see more symptoms/behaviors cropping up. The parents may not even recognize other symptoms, at this point. My DS was hoarding and had ocd and I did not recognize it right away. We knew it was weird but I did not even report it as symptoms, in the beginning. All I could concentrate on was the separation anxiety and the tantrums/rages. I could have avoided many tantrums/rages if I'd realized it was ocd setting it off and handled it better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My son presented like this initially. His symptoms did not ALL come on overnight. The seperation anxiety did. Then a few days later, the OCD thoughts, then the tics. All within the course of a couple weeks, but it was one symptom at a time. I wouldn't automatically think PANDAS in a 6 year old with seperation anxiety only. Something could have happened at school, something he saw in the news, etc...

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Many thanks for opinions. Unfortunately symptoms progressed to constant, serious and worrying intrusive thoughts and little girl having to tell mom every 5mins the thoughts. Also baby talk. Mom has app w pandas accepting ped today and 2 local pandas Drs for 2wks and 2 months out, just in case. 1st step to get titers. Will keep you updated.

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