Hello, my daughter may be on her way to a diagnosis of OCD. I wanted to ask here for those of you who are experienced what can I say to her that wont make things worse. I am a couple of weeks away from referrals and such, so I don't want to waste anytime saying or doing the wrong things for her. Do you have any one liners that could help a 4 year old. I need some mantras for me and DH to say to her. Do I ignore or talk her through it.
There is so much to share, but I will start with what is currently happening. First, she has been tested negataive for PANDAS. What has happened in the last month is she won't use her hands to climb the slide, hold the swing. If she does touch those things, she wants to wash, wipe or lick her own hands. She has played at the park for a full 2 hours not using her hands. I felt her suffering. She says her hands are sticky all the time and wants to wash, wipe or lick. She is not longer picking up bugs or acorns like she once did. Today, me and her baby brother (15m) are now a "dirty" she doesn't say this specifically, but if I touch her, kiss her hug her, she wipes it away with her own salavia or runs with a wet cloth to wash herself off. I PRAY that this is just phase but I am so worried it is not a phase. I have never cried in front of her but today, I felt my eyes tear up at lease 20 times as she washed me away or refused her baby brothers kisses. She has always been very affecionate, so this really hurts my heart to see. She doesn't know I am tearing up, I know that wouldn't be good. I just can't hold back the emotion. Her brother touched her teddy bear and she grabbed it away from him and started licking him clean. The first 2 weeks of this, I just ignored it hoping it would go away. Now I am saying things like "you don't need to wash that, it's clean...see, look." (and I show her my clean hand). Just yesterday it started with me and her brother. Up until then, it was herself or her toys and things outside. She would scratch her head and then lick her finger to wash off her finger from touching her head. She would scratch herself with her shirt and not use her own hand, b'c i guess she thinks her hand is dirty. I find myself saying somethings that i think are stupid and unproductive. I don't want to make things worse but I don't know what to say. Should I just ignore this? could this be a wierd quirky phase that will pass? Any advise please. IS there anyting else other than PANDAS that could cause all of this?
I don't have any specific advice for you but just wanted you to know that someone read your post and I really feel for you. My daughter, who is now 9, has exhibited some OCDish tendencies since she was very little. They seem to come in waves in her case and just come and go. I remember a time when she was four that she refused to walk on the wood floors in our new home. She would put a towel down in front of her and walk on that and then pick it up and move it as she moved through the house. I let her do it and did not make a big deal of it and eventually, after a few weeks, she stopped. I don't know if that is in any way helpful. I just hope that this will be true for your daughter as well. My daughter recently had an aversion to feet and anything that happened to be touched by someone's foot was completely ruined. This one seems to be fading away finally.
I had never heard of PANDAs before reading your post and had to look that up. It makes me sad to learn about that. Just add it to the list of things I never knew. I never knew that what my daughter was recently diagnosed with, Type 1 diabetes, is an autoimmune disease and is potentially linked with gluten intolerance, among many other theories. I just can't wrap my mind around how many issues there are now related to who knows what in our food supply and environment. I always thought that if we ate organic food as much as we could afford, we stayed out of the rat race of life, cleaned with natural stuff like vinegar and baking soda, delayed or just plain avoided vaccines, etc, etc, that we would somehow be immune to those things that happen to "other people". Pretty naive on my part, I know. I hope you find some answers. Best wishes to you and hugs...
I had another thought. Have you tried play therapy? We did a little play therapy with a therapist when my daughter was 4, almost 5 and it kind of helped tease out some of the reasons why she was doing the things she was doing. We were there for not only her quirky issues but many other things, like her temper and controlling behaviors. I wish we could have been able to afford to do it longer because it helped me to parent her better somehow . I realized that I kind of babbled away about things that were not really helpful to you in my last post and wanted to offer at some kind of useful idea. I wanted to also say that I think you are doing a great job in your responses to your daughter. I know how hard it is to not let judgment and worry enter your words sometimes. Good luck.
I just want to say thank you for your reply. I am beating myself up for the moments in which I am not being patient and understanding. This is all exhausting and I am tyring to learn how to help her (and myself).
I am sorry to hear about your daughter's Diabetes diagnosis. The food/envorinment link is so very scary--makes me so angry when I think about it. Makes me want to crawl in a hole and never come out.