What is PANS/PANDAS, ASD, ADHD, & OCD?

Childhood neuro-developmental conditions can take many forms.
Read below to learn about four unique conditions - PANS/PANDAS, ASD, ADHD, & OCD.

Childhood Neuro-developmental Conditions

Understanding childhood neuro-devevelopmental conditions can be daunting for parents, especially those struggling with a recent diagnosis or behavioural challenges. 

Each condition and diagnosis is different. Some children may exhibit only some symptoms from a particular condition, some children from more than one.

It can, however, be helpful for parents to understand the characteristics and behavioural symptoms of some of the different neuro-development conditions.

PANS/PANDAS

Brief Description:

PANS (an acronym for Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome) is commonly associated with a number of different infections.

PANDAS is an acronym for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal infection. It is triggered by strep infections, which disrupts a child’s normal neurologic activity.

Children and young adults with PANS/PANDAS experience neurological and psychiatric symptoms which are often incorrectly diagnosed. Sadly, this cause is missed and the child doesn’t receive the correct intervention for managing an infection and neuro-inflammation.

Studies have shown that when given appropriate anti-infective and/or immunological treatment, PANS/PANDAS children and young adults can experience a dramatic reduction in their neurological and psychiatric symptoms. Obtaining a correct diagnosis is a challenge because PANS/PANDAS symptoms can mimic other illnesses, and although its diagnostic criteria is listed in the international classification of diseases (ICD-11), it is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM–5) used by psychiatrists and psychologists.

Characteristics:

Behavioral regression including children suddenly acting much younger than for their age.

Anxiety and panic.

Irritability, aggression and/or oppositional defiant behaviors.

Regression in school performance including in math and reading competence.

Memory and concentration lapses.

ADHD symptoms

Motor or sensory abnormalities including a deterioration in handwriting and drawing, or hypersensitivity to sound or light.

Sleep disturbances, bedwetting, and other changes in urinary frequency or intensity.  

Restricted food intake 

Tics and involunatry movements.

OCD thinking and behaviours.

ASD

Brief Description:

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors.

Autism is a lifelong condition and presents disability and challenges in various ways. A host of co-morbidities are associated with autism, from poor gut health to poor sensory regulation, poor sleep quality and higher risk of stress induced anxiety and depression.  

Characteristics:

Poor social thinking and communication - following group plans, understanding non verbal communication, understanding other poeple’s intentions and needs, limited sharing of interests, and missed emotional reciprocation through cues and facial expressions. Which lead to diffuclt and problematic relationship development inducing risk for anxiety and depression.

Repetitive patterns of behaviours - echolalia, dependence on fixed routines, sensory based play eliciting repetitive activities.

ADHD

Brief Description:

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common neuro-development disorder is Australia today. It affects both children and adults and is characterised by symptoms of inattentiveness, impulsivity and a varying degree of hyperactivity. Current prevalence rate is 1 in 20 males and 1 in 30 females.

Characteristics:

Being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings.

Being impatient.

Excessive talking

Constant fidgeting/movement.

Impulsive behaviour.

Interrupting conversations.

Being unable to concentrate on tasks.

OCD

Brief Description:

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and may also involve ritualized, repetitive behaviors the person feel compelled to perform to relieve anxiety. People with OCD may recognize that their obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors are irrational but feel unable to resist them.

Characteristics:

OCD thinking involves repetitive intrusive thoughts that have themes around contamination, worrying thoughts of something bad happening and/or a loss of self control. OCD is a spectrum where mild intrusive thoughts are easily controlled and distracted, while more severe OCD thinking may compell a person into repetitive rituals for small or long periods of the day.

Want to learn more?

The process of determining if a child or young adult has a neuro-developmental condition can be difficult, and is best performed by a qualified health professional.

If you would like to understand how I can assist, you can read more about the services I offer below.

You can also book a free 20 minute Q&A if you would like to speak to me prior to your first consult.


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My care model

Read more about the neuro-developmental care model I offer, and how I can assist children with PANS/PANDAS, ASD, ADHD, OCD, and other neuro-developmental conditions.


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