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What therapists should know about PANDAS/PANS/AE

Are you a therapist working with children, teens, and young adults with tics, OCD, ODD, ASD, ARFID (restrictive eating, anorexia) and body-dysmorphia, suicide ideation, psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar? Are you working with these age groups and some of your clients do not respond to therapy? Are your clients described by others as "troublemakers”, "defiant" “hyper,” “bad,” “not smart,” “challenging,” “unfit,” etc?


Therapists with clients displaying any of the above need to have an up-to-date understanding of Autoimmune Encephalitis (AE), a syndrome with wide-ranging physical, emotional, and development implications that is now estimated to affect at least one in 200 children in the US (and some researchers say a far higher number).    

This webinar will provide information and intervention plans for AE, also known as  Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) or Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS).

AE is an umbrella diagnosis for a spectrum of symptoms thought to be caused by neuroinflammation (inflammation of the brain). This happens when the immune system of the body overreacts to infection from bacteria or viruses and mistakenly targets cells of the body rather than the invader.

Several factors suggest weighing AE in diagnosis:

1) A client who has been a “difficult” child and "does not respond” to therapy.


2) A client who used to be well and, at some point, deteriorated (especially if the deterioration was very sudden).


3) A client who suddenly develops symptoms such as a tic, OCD, restrictive eating, depression, suicide ideation, anxiety (especially separation anxiety), bedwetting, hallucinations, delusions, etc.


4) A client who displays a significant and sudden academic decline (change in focus, handwriting, math skills) that is not due to a recent injury.


5) Any of the above developed over time without a specific onset and not responding to psychological and psychiatric interventions.

In this 75min webinar, you will be introduced to:

  • Definitions and key information for therapists to be aware of when working with clients who manifest any of AE symptoms.

  • Examples of intervention plans.

  • Dealing with the PTSD of parents and family members (which is commonly an issue because the stress of living with AE is high and protracted).

Target audience

Mental health counselors, social workers, psychotherapists, psychologists, school psychologists, and counselors who work with children/teens and young adults with symptoms and diagnosis of ODD, ADHD, OCD, Tics, Eating Disorders, and body dysmorphia, psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar and so forth.

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Dr. Odelya Gertel Kraybill PhD, LCPC, a trauma researcher and psychotherapist, and PANDAS mom. Many of her clients are PANDAS families. She has made it a mission to help PANDAS parents to get valuable information about PANDAS interventions and to help bring knowledge of PANDAS/PANS/AE into mainstream awareness.

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PADNAS therapist

PADNAS therapist

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