State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) joined advocates, including Wiltonians Lisa Williams and Joan McCullough, in Hartford on Feb. 18, as they testified in favor of a bill that would require health insurance coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS).

PANDAS occurs when strep triggers a misdirected immune response and causes inflammation of a child’s brain. The child quickly begins to exhibit life-changing symptoms, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, tics, personality changes, decline in math and handwriting abilities, sensory sensitivities and restrictive eating.