Mental & Behavioral Health

What is PANS/PANDAS? Understanding Inflammation in the Brain

May 10, 2022 | 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Registration is closed

Speaker: Sheilah M. Gauch, M.Ed., LICSW, Dearborn Academy

Webinar Description: 
This webinar will start by explaining the basics of PANS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder) and PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep). You will learn how infections and viruses may trigger a wide range of neuropsychiatric responses, including OCD, ADHD, disabling anxiety, mood lability, rage, tics, marked shifts in reading and math skills, and more. We will talk about why these illnesses can be easily missed, how they are diagnosed, and what treatments are used to support children in regaining health. We will also explore the challenges children with PANS/PANDAS, and their caregivers, face and discuss how it presents in a school setting and how educators can best support children with this diagnosis.
Sheilah Gauch is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). She also holds a Masters in Educational Organizational Management and is licensed as a Principal, Special Education Administrator and School Adjustment Counselor through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Sheilah has been working with children with significant mental health needs for over 20 years. She is currently the Principal of Dearborn Academy, a Chapter 766 Private Therapeutic Day School. Dearborn Academy serves students with significant social/emotional and learning challenges. She has supported the school in the creation of a robust academic and clinical milieu to support students with the highest level of need.
Sheilah began her career working with children, ages 5-18,  in an outpatient treatment setting. Sheilah then moved to work as a clinician at a residential treatment program, where she stayed for close to ten years. From there, she moved to join a public school setting as a Special Education social worker. Here she supported students in sub-separate programming and went on to develop and oversee the district’s Tier 3 off-site transitional program.
Slides available here.

Membership Information
Most MPY webinars are available to ONLY current staff from member districts and organizations. Public school memberships include police and fire personnel. Former and retired employees and members of committees, including but not limited to, PTO/PTA, PAC, School Improvement Councils, Health Councils, Drug/Alcohol Councils, and school volunteers, are not considered MPY members.

PDPs and CEUs
MPY is an approved Professional Development Provider through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (F20180079 provider number). Professional Development Points (PDPs) are offered for all MPY professional development webinars. PDPs are issued for a minimum of 10 hours of training.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for clinical staff from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association, Inc. (MaMHCA). The NASW and the MaMHCA approves each event. Event participants may request CEUs by filling out the request form above. 

Requests for PDPs and CEUs must be submitted within 8 days of the webinar. PDPs and CEUs will only be issued to participants who have attended the webinar(s) and submitted the appropriate paperwork within 8 days of the webinar, with accurate accountability codes. 

PDP and CEU certificates will be emailed to attendees at the end of the school year.

Event Cancellation Policy
If you are unable to attend any MPY event after registering, you must cancel online at least 72 hours prior to event. For assistance email

Sheilah Gauch, M.Ed., LICSW and Principal of Dearborn Academy

Sheilah Gauch, M.Ed., LICSW and Principal of Dearborn Academy

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