Saving Sammy: A Mother's Fight to Cure Her Son's OCD by Beth Alison Maloney is the story of a mother’s attempt to battle her son's diagnosis and struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). When Sammy was in sixth grade, he started exhibiting behaviors often associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, such as walking with his eyes shut and refusing to bathe.
Not willing to accept the idea that her son had suddenly developed OCD without warning, Mahoney began searching for answers from doctors. She soon learned that Sammy had a an autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder which was triggered by a streptococcal infection. Awareness of this condition, commonly referred to as PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections), has grown dramatically in recent years, and PANDAS is now recognized as a cause of sudden-onset Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in children. The most recent research suggests that PANDAS is caused by antibodies which develop to fight strep, but which cause a reaction in the brain that results in OCD, tics, and other neuropsychiatric symptoms. The symptoms of PANDAS usually come on quickly, are severe, and follow a diagnosis of strep throat.
Saving Sammy recounts Maloney’s journey to discover the source of her son’s sudden neuropsychiatric symptoms, which were ultimately completely cured. The books shines a crucial light on a little-known condition of which parents of young children should be aware.