School can be difficult for a PANDAS/PANS child. A child may experience school refusal, a decline in performance (including handwriting and math skills), and more. The following are resources that may be helpful to parent, teacher, and administration.
AOTA PANDAS OT Handout Copyright 2011 by the American Occupational Therapy Association. All rights reserved. This material may be copied and distributed for personal or educational uses without written consent. For all other uses, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even if you don’t have a 504 Plan or IEP in place, you can still talk to the teacher(s) and administration about what would make school more comfortable for your child and for you.
Some suggestions are:
Call the Principal and say you want to be notified when a classmate is absent due to strep. If there are siblings, you can request the same for their classes as well. The school will not be able to give you specific names due to privacy and this only helps if the parent actually gives the reason for absence to the school.
Talk to the teacher about allowing frequent bathroom breaks if frequent urination is an issue. If you don’t discuss this, the teacher may have class rules about how often a child is allowed to go and when the child is allowed to go. If you don’t tell them frequent urination is a symptom of his/her autoimmune disorder, the teacher will not know.
Establish a “code” with the teacher. Perhaps if the child puts a certain object or piece of paper on their desk or the teacher’s desk, it will signal the teacher that the student is overwhelmed and needs a break from the class room.
Get permission for your child to use a water bottle in the class room. Water fountains are filled with germs and bacteria.
Look back at older writing journals for possible handwriting changes. This may include margin drifts and legibility issues. These journals may be kept in the classroom.