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Emma Haines stared outside through the screen door in her kitchen on a sweltering Saturday afternoon in May. Her father, Reggie, built a makeshift water slide by hooking a hose up to the playset in the backyard of their home in a picturesque Conewago Township neighborhood.

“I’m scared to go outside without an adult,” 11-year-old Emma said, her voice quivering. She was afraid of a wasp buzzing around the screen door. After a tremulous back and forth with her parents, Reggie agreed to walk outside with Emma to make her feel more comfortable.

“That’s pretty minor from what we usually see,” said Jennifer Haines, Emma’s mother. High anxiety is just one of many symptoms of Emma’s Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections, or PANDAS, that her family manages daily.


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