My 7 year old is really bright - likely gifted though I never had him evaluated.
He likes school especially maths and physics related stuff. Reading is not a huge interest to him and we never trained it at home, but when he started learning letters in school 18 months ago he picked up on the general idea really fast and is now reading several grades above his classmates.
He has complained to me - first time around 6 months ago - and now several times recently - that his brain keeps counting stuff. It can be edges of shapes or syllables of words, even though it bothers him and he doesn't like doing it. He says it goes away when he concentrates on something like maths or reading and he used the words "My brain just wants something difficult to do."
So far the explanation I have given him for this behaviour is that it is because when you have a good brain it needs to work and keep itself occupied. I believe this a large part of the explanation, but I am still worried.
Ofcourse my first thought/fear was OCD but I read up on that and he doesnt have any other symptoms. He is overall functioning well. He has many friends, is good at listening and understanding things - stuff related to emotions too. He is generally considered a pleasent, polite and bright kid despite having quite a temper. He doesnt have any tics or other kinds of compulsive or obsessive behaviour.
So all in all I am confused. What is going on? Is it as simple as his brain just needing constant input or it will make one itself? Is it common in gifted children? Anyone else experiencing something like it? Or should I worry and seek help? How can I help him stop counting stuff without wanting to?
Any and all inputs welcome. TIA