Ds, age 10, going on 11, has a diagnosis of SPD/motor planning issues and number of tics/stims/habits.. one at a time, they're not too bad and he doesn't stick out too much. But they seem to be getting worse in the last few months.
- He holds his hands up in front of his eyes very briefly and then back down. He'll do this multiple times a minute when he can. If he can't he seems to move his neck in a way to change his vision field and it looks odd. It sort of looks like a pigeon walking.
- He pulls on his hair/twists it. Sometimes he pulls his hair out. He'll go months without doing this, and then start up again. He's started again. Mostly he does this while reading.
- In the last few months he's been washing his hands a lot, when any dirt (imagined or real) gets on them.
- In the last 6 months of so, he holds his hands at a funny angle (parallel to the floor or even higher) and seems to be reluctant to touch things, or he'll try to do things with one hand only.
- He refuses to eat anything that's fallen off his plate (even onto the table) or heaven forbid, touched the floor. He used to be OK with this.
- He refuses to wipe his mouth off even when he gets food on his face in public, even if I ask him to. He will take a washcloth at home and do it. He gets really angry with me if I try to get his face clean for him with a napkin or something.
The combination of these things is starting to make me wonder if something is going on that we need to get looked at.
Here's what we know:
He's not on the autism spectrum (really he's not, his social cognition is excellent). He had some mild anxiety when he was younger (~7) but that's resolved. He doesn't have Tourette's (no vocal tics ever).
His tics have always been worse in spring/summer. He's probably entering the beginning stages of puberty (his feet have grown enormously, I saw a small pimple on his face the other day, he's constantly hungry and his legs hurt). School is going fine academically, and socially as far as I know. He's got a couple of friends who he plays well with most of the time (they seek him out, they have occasional spats, but nothing major). He tells me who he's played basketball with at school other little things that make me think he's fine. He's physically very active and is becoming more coordinated. He still has to think sometimes before his body will do something, so he's not a natural athlete. But he works hard and is quite average in terms of performance.
I sort of feel like we're on the verge of OCD, but it's not interfering with his life. He's a quiet introvert, and has never, ever discussed his feelings. When I ask him what's up with his hands, he can't tell me, not even to say that he is/is not able to stop washing them. He's quite sensitive emotionally, though you'd only know that if you were his parent. I'm afraid to push too hard or he'll shut down.
He's starting middle school next fall where they mix kids from a number of different schools, and I'd like him not to be a target for being weird. I'm feeling like something is up, but I don't know where to start. Back to his old OT? Somewhere else? Wait and see?