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Help finding the right therapist


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My DS(diagnosed at age 12) is just about 14 and in 8th grade. He has been off of abx for a year and doing pretty well. He is being treated with allergy shots by Dr B. which has been very helpful with his sinus issues. I can still see that PANS is lurking in the background by a few signs and symptoms. We decided to give Dr O a try and she was amazing. We have a follow up with her next week to review all the lab work.


Since puberty has now arrived and in full force he just doesn't seem right to me. I've noticed a bit of depression. He gets obsessed with video games or reading books. He spaces out, forget assignments etc. I have also noticed his leg is always moving, if he's sitting or standing up. Since most of our kids suffer with OCD I'm wondering if he has it. I have never been able to pin point OCD as the culprit, but from what I read on here it could still be an issue. I think he has a lot going on in his head and he distracts/or gets obsessed with other things to keep his mind off them. His answers to my questions are always, " I'm fine Mom". He said he is open to seeing a therapist.


He is small for his age. He doesn't fit in with the rough & tough boys so he's a bit of a loner. But he has an amazing sense of humor, great writer does well academically(for now). He gets along great with teachers and adults.


My question is what sort of therapy/therapist do I look for? Psychologist? Social worker? OCD? LMHC. He had a therapist for a time in grammar school but she said he was fine and we moved on. How do you find a therapist that is PANS friendly?


If you are from MA, feel free to PM any suggestions.


Thank you

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In our experience, some psychs will actually engage in therapy with a patient, but because they are also licensed to dispense medications and have a full medical degree, their billing rates tend to be too high to make regular therapy with them financially feasible; we use ours for check-ins (now about 3 times per year) and medication renewals.


Clinical psychologists and/or child psychologists are probably your best bets for evaluating your son's current state to determine if OCD is behind his distraction and other behaviors, as well as providing the regular therapy which helps build the vocabulary, regular responses and techniques for dealing with the OCD in everyday life. You want one who is not just knowledgeable in CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) but, more specifically (if it is OCD), ERP (exposure response prevention), since that's been found to be most effective in treating OCD behaviors.


I would start with the International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation's (IOCDF's) web site; they have a Find Help link that allows you to search for providers that are geographically good for you, as well as those that specialize or have experience with certain age groups, individual issues, etc. I don't know that PANDAS/PANS is among the options specifically searchable here, but I do know for a fact that a number of the providers there are at least on board with and/or knowledgeable regarding PANDAS. It's how we found our current psych and therapist.




Then, frankly, it's a matter of finding the right fit . . . someone you feel comfortable with, someone your son will talk with freely and accept the techniques and exercises from.

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Thanks for the info. I really dislike finding a therapist it's like a shot in the dark. Since my posting this morning I sent out a few emails asking therapists if they heard of PANS. Much to my surprise they did. Two therapists were very interested in our case and were asking me for more information. Apparently both therapists have been contacted by other families with PANS. I gave them as much info as I could and told them they could contact me again if need be. As much as I like to hear that PANS is finally reaching therapists I don't feel comfortable sending my son to them as a test subject. I will check into the OCD website. And I also received a PM with a name. Love this forum, it's a life saver!


Thank you.

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