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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>Is it possible for a young child to have OCD?  A four year old?  A two year old?  A one year old? </p>
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<p>Does anyone know?  I have been researching and it seems like it would be very unusual.  That OCD is usually something that shows up later in life, mostly in the teens.</p>
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<p>It has been suggested that my child has OCD.  I just thought that OCD was something that showed up in the teens not something that shows up younger. </p>
 

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<p>I would suggest you read "Freeing Your Child From OCD" by Tamar Chansky. She also wrote "Freeing Your Child From Anxiety." I have both books. And I have OCD.</p>
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<p>I had OCD as a child, definitely in elementary school. I am not sure how young is possible, though Chansky mentions a case in her OCD book where a kid was diagnosed at 3 years old. She also says that 7 is kind of a typical age for kids to start showing signs.</p>
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<p>I can't remember the exact stats but many people who have OCD as adults also had it as children. Most people aren't diagnosed until about 9 years after symptoms begin according to Chansky. I believe it is best to treat it early. My DD is 7 and has a diagnosis of Anxiety Disorder- NOS. She also has several flags for OCD but not enough for a full diagnosis. The therapist doesn't want to box her into a label that does not fit and I am fine with this. My DD seems to have the "bad thought" type of obsessive thought patterns but not many rituals.</p>
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<p>I definitely had rituals as a child - but not anything that most people, including my parents, would have noticed. I had thought rituals and sniffing rituals, straightening and checking (though I was never a neat and tidy type). My own OCD was hidden from everyone until it became unmanageable in college. My room mate (and best friend for years) had noticed my odd behaviors before this but didn't know what they were. Her DH has OCD and his started in adolescence. I do still have some OCD behaviors and rituals but while they can be somewhat annoying at times, they don't interfere with living my life any more.</p>
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<p>I also have sensory issues which I think makes the OCD stuff more intense.</p>
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<p>I think I remember your thread from before. I would suggest you seek the help of a child psychologist if you feel like the rituals or obsessive thoughts are interfering with your DC's life. Also, if your child knows the rituals are silly but feels compelled to do them anyway and feels badly about it, that is another sign.</p>
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<p>From what I have read, treating early helps a lot. Usually Cognitive Behavior Therapy is the preferred treatment. There are also drugs used for OCD, but I am using naturopathic methods at this point with a lot of success. There are a few natural methods that can be very helpful, some used with kids. But from what I have read, CBT is also very effective alone.</p>
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<p>I hope you find some answers. You can PM me if you want.</p>
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<p>There is a good book for kids as well called "What to do when your brain gets stuck" by Dawn Huebner. She has several workbooks for kids. I have read three of them and think they are all pretty good. They are based on CBT.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<p>Thanks. </p>
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<p>I really have no idea what is going on with my daughter.  She has been showing this behavior her whole life.</p>
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<p>We got referred to a psychological evaluation for her today and we are going to be requesting one from the school as well.  She has anxiety.  She has these OCD rituals that have been showing up most of her life.  And in so many ways it really seems like OCD and anxiety but if that is right then it really scares me because she is only 4 and OCD can get worse.  A lot worse.  And I feel like if it is showing up this young then that means that it will be bad.</p>
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<p>It is really stressing me because I don't know how to handle it.  Because she does not have a diagnosis yet and there is a possibility of her having Aspergers...</p>
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<p>I could ether to treat the rituals like I would if she had OCD (In which case I would get her therapy and biofeedback and likely be a lot stricter about rituals.  Also if it were OCD I would start therapy now) or Aspergers/Autism spectrum (In which case I would likely be much less aggressive about therapy and more tolerant of the rituals until she got significantly older or they started to get worse). </p>
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<p>And so I just don't even know what to do.  Other than I am really tired of the whole goodbye routine.  Which is start to finish:</p>
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<p>Peck on the lips.  Hug.  Rub noses. Then she kisses my right cheek then my left.  Then I kiss her left check then her right.  Then the spoken section starts...</p>
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<p>Her "goodbye mommy"</p>
<p>Me "Goodbye"</p>
<p>Her "goodbye mommy"</p>
<p>Me "goodbye"</p>
<p>Her "now can I say it one more time?"</p>
<p>Me "OK"</p>
<p>Her "goodbye mommy"</p>
<p>Me "goodbye"</p>
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<p>And that has to be done perfectly every day when I drop her off at school.  If I refuse to do it she will meltdown epically. </p>
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<p>I just want one day where I can just say goodbye and leave.</p>
 

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<p>You certainly can start young. I remember things from very young in myself. My parents say things from at least kindergarten but like your daughter I was always anxious and "that way" in their memory. It doesn't have to get worse though. In fact, if she gets the right help early on I think her outcomes would be much better. My strong suggestion is that you look at the OCD foundation (online) find a doctor section and find a cognitive behavioral therapist who does OCD work with pediatrics. Call and tell them her age and that you're interested in cognitive behavioral therapy. This is what I would do should my young child show any signs of OCD. The only treatments for OCD are specific cognitive behavioral approaches and medication of course. In a young child trying therapy alone is certainly the right choice imo. If my child needed "more" by the way I'd probably research some alternative supplements proven to help OCD like inositol and/or N-acytl cysteine. I've thought a lot about this since my kids are at increased risk.</p>
 

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<p>I should have noticed your reply. I'm sorry--I'm having trouble with the new format. I do think figuring out if this is OCD or autism spectrum behavior is important. What you describe could go either way. Of course there could also be both in a child. Ideally you have someone really good evaluate for autism (harder to find someone who accurately evaluates young girls) and also an expert in OCD as well to evaluate that side of things. I agree the approach is different depending on the underlying issue. You are seeing other spectrum signs?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<p>We are seeing other spectrum signs but not enough to have a clear answer.  We are making steps though.  Yesterday we asked for a psychological evaluation from her school district and her doctor is putting in a referral for both the regional center and a doctor for a private evaluation (I want to say a psychologist of some sort, but I am not sure.  It is a specialist, we have to drive 3 hours to get to him.).  He said that if it was something on the autism spectrum he thought it would be aspergers because she is not showing any signs of cognitive delays (she is actually very advanced in some areas academically she just got a 4 in math.  I am proud.) and he is not sure if the school will refer to the regional center for aspergers.</p>
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<p>We talked a bit about referring to The Mind Institute?  My mother suggested trying to get a referral there...Has anyone worked with them?  He seemed to think it was a good option for treatment post-diagnosis (assuming a ASD).  We are not going to for now because it is quite a ways away from us but I have family in the area so it is workable for us if needed.</p>
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<p>But then yesterday I randomly came across something that someone on another message board had posted that made me reconsider that the problem could really just be OCD.  Or rather OCD and serious anxiety.  That just got me wondering again.  Because if she is not on the autism spectrum there is still something going on here that she needs help with.  And honestly OCD scares me a lot more then Autism Spectrum.  With Autism spectrum you got what you got, but with OCD it can get worse.  I feel confident that if that is what she has we can help her and she will be OK but for some reason I just see the OCD possibility as so much more potentially incapacitating then Aspergers. </p>
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<p>I know though that I just really need to let it go day to day right now.  Worrying will not help.  And the school has to do their evaluation within 60 day so things are moving.  So my goal for today is to crochet three squares for my daughters blanket and stay away from Dr. Google.</p>
 

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<p>I have OCD.  OCD can get worse, but it is not like it follows a linear progression or that it cannot be reversed at any point.  For me, I would go through long periods (years) of hardly noticing my OCD and then have times when I deteriorated rapidly to the point where I could no longer function.  The first time it got that bad was in college.  I recovered from that "episode" with help from my parents.  I had not even been officially diagnosed as OCD at that point.  The second time I was an adult with a young child and I really needed to get better quickly.  This time I was diagnosed and I started sertraline (Zoloft).  Since I got the dosage figured out, sertraline has kept the OCD under excellent control.  It is not incapacitating at all.  Most people don't even know I have it unless I tell them.</p>
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<p>I strongly believe, that in my case at least, OCD is caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain.  The sertraline corrects that imbalance.  I would not recommend sertraline for a child.  My DD has not been diagnosed, but she has strong tendancies toward OCD.  She is not taking anything and I help her with other strategies for keeping the OCD (if she has it) under control.  I agree that CBT is the best choice for a child.  Studies have shown that CBT, done properly, actually alters the brain chemistry in ways similar to an SSRI.</p>
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<p>If I communicate nothing else in this post, I hope I can ease your fears about a diagnosis of OCD.  With proper help, OCD does not have to be incapacitating at all.  Like ASD, people who have it even say there are aspects of it that can be helpful.  I am a computer programmer and the code I implement is about as bug free as computer code can be, in large part due to the "obsessive" way I test.</p>
 

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<p>We're going through the same thing with our ds (almost 4 yrs old).  I don't know where you are located but we took him to a developmental ped (she's an md but is more holistic). While we didn't get a dx out of the visit, she did start him on a regime of supplements that have changed our lives. Within 2 weeks the rituals stopped (our bedtime sounded exactly like your good byes). Now that he's been on them for several months, we see some of the ticks coming back but not at the same level as a year ago. I know the same supplements may not help every child, but I just wanted to chime in & let you know what worked for us.</p>
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<p>I'm in MD - if you want to know more about the doctor or the supplements, feel free to pm me.</p>
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<p>~ Jenn</p>
 

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<p>I have OCD. I have strong memories of doing my 'thing' in 2nd grade, so I would have been 7 or 8. My DS1 is 8 now, and over the past year I have noticed him saying things that are a verbalized manifestation of the 'thing' I do. All signs point to him having OCD, but, it's not a problem until it's a problem for him, KWIM? What he does(and what I do/did) is only annoying to me, because I don't verbalize it. He just hasn't figured that out yet. </p>
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<p>As for the good-bye routine.... I would say that's within the realm of normal. Some kids are really routine oriented, and that's not necessarily OCD or autism or anything else, it's just something that is very predictable and reliable for them. </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>SubliminalDarkness</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280003/ocd#post_16084496"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I have OCD. I have strong memories of doing my 'thing' in 2nd grade, so I would have been 7 or 8. My DS1 is 8 now, and over the past year I have noticed him saying things that are a verbalized manifestation of the 'thing' I do. All signs point to him having OCD, but, it's not a problem until it's a problem for him, KWIM? What he does(and what I do/did) is only annoying to me, because I don't verbalize it. He just hasn't figured that out yet. </p>
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<p>As for the good-bye routine.... I would say that's within the realm of normal. Some kids are really routine oriented, and that's not necessarily OCD or autism or anything else, it's just something that is very predictable and reliable for them. </p>
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<p>The good-bye routine is something that drives me crazy, but it not by any means her only problem.  And while the good bye routine is annoying and gets really old the problem with the routine is actually what happens if she does not get a chance to say good bye.  She cried for 2 hours when she did not get to say good bye to daddy because he had to leave for work before she woke, and this was after we told her about it the night before and she got a chance to say good bye to him then (and she woke up a midnight and said goodbye again).</p>
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<p>While I know academics and grades don't matter this young (I am a strong believer in delayed academics). But when her teacher showed me her screening/assessment (IE report card) for preschool it was clear that what ever is going on with her is affecting her life negatively.  She received all 3 and 4's in Math (shapes patterns counting measurement things like that).  Except in sorting.  Where she got a 1.  Because she got obsessive when they were assessing her and would not sort the animals according to their standards.  She got distressed when they tried to sort them.  She had to sort them into pairs.  And when one of the animals did not have a match she got very distressed.  Very distressed.  The teacher had to find her a match for the animal before she would even move on and leave the activity.</p>
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<p>And yesterday when we left preschool she tried to say goodbye to another little girl.  The other little girl chose to ignore her.  My daughter had a absolute meltdown.  It was horrible.  I had to drag her to our car while she screamed and cried because the little girl would not say good bye.  She screamed and cried almost the whole way home.  All because a little girl chose not to say goodbye back to her.  And this happens all the time.  The only reason it does not happen every day is because several of the parents in my child's class have become aware of the issue and will respond to my daughter if their kids ignore her.  For some reason if the child ignores her but the parent responds she handles it better.</p>
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<p>I am just very tired.  It never ends.  I just want a few days were I don't have to manage a meltdown over something small.  Where I can pick her up at school with out the teacher pulling me aside.  Just be a normal parent.</p>
 
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