PANDA/PANS Awareness Day

alex tripp brain panda/pans Oct 09, 2021
by Alex Tripp, Collaborator
Have you heard of PANDA/PANS before? I had heard of it previously, but up until doing some reading after finding out October 9th was PANDA/PANS Awareness day, I honestly didn’t know much about it.
 
So… What is it?
PANDA (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus/Strep): caused by an autoimmune response to a streptococcus infection.
 
PANS (Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome): caused by a bacterial infection other than strep, creating an autoimmune response, such as (but not limited to) Lyme Disease, mononucleosis, or H1N1.
 
The bacteria or infection itself is not the issue, but rather the body’s reaction to the bacteria that can cause inflammation in certain areas of the child’s brain - resulting in sudden and drastic changes in behaviour.
 
These changes may look like…
- Sudden onset of obsessions, compulsions and/or tics (may present with OCD-like...
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What Can I Do To Spread FASD Awareness?

by Alex Tripp, Collaborator
Once I become interested in something, I try to know as much about it as I possibly can… Example: This binder started out as some handwritten pages in a notebook. I started researching and reading about FASD four years ago and basically, I never looked back. But, I kept wondering… How could I share the information I had and the things I was learning in a way that went beyond just talking to the people in my life?
 
Last September I really wanted to do something for FASD Awareness Month. What could *I*, as one person with a head full of information and nowhere to go, do to contribute to spreading awareness for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?
 
Well, I’m what some might call a “social media enthusiast” (and by that I just mean that a very large amount of my time is spent on it). So I headed to what was familiar and started posting information there. Then came the graphics, which I had so much fun making I would sit...
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No Promises, Just Try

by Alex Tripp, Collaborator
I can remember getting ready for back-to-school myself, and all of the different feelings that would come in the days leading up… Who’s class will I be in? What will I wear? Who will I sit with? Will I know my way around?
After I graduated from college, I started a position as a Child and Youth Worker at a group home for youth with various forms of neurodiversity; including FASD, ASD and ADHD. When it came time for back-to-school for these kiddos, I would think about all of those questions that I used to have and how they were feeling all of those things, and then some…
For children with brain-based disabilities who may have a hard time with transitions, new environments, sensory sensitivities and emotional regulation - I imagined these worries felt even bigger to them, especially for those kiddos who were new to the home or starting at a brand new school.
One of the first things I would do to help the kids prepare would be to...
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