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Could you explain your child's OCD?

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  • Could you explain your child's OCD?

    HI All,

    My 5 year old son most likely has TS. He's also been dxed with anxiety and Sensory Integration Disorder. We are not sure about OCD or ADD yet. (waiting for some neuropsych testing for ADD)

    I very much suspect that he has a form of OCD, but the doctor says it's not OCD. Does any of this ring a bell.....DS can meltdown over very perfectionistic things...For example, one day I cut up his pancakes at a restaurant (I always do this for him); but this day he got so angry that he nearly threw the table over, screaming and yelling in the restaurant. He will work hard on making something and then tear it up, cry, and throw it away because he wrote something wrong. He gets fanatic/obsessive about certain 'themes.' For awhile it was Blues Clues, then kid game shows on 'Nick Gas', constantly thinking about the game shows, reinacting them on the playground, etc. Now he is fanatic about world flags and Wheel of Fortune. He often has trouble playing with other children because of needing the play to be 'just so.' He doesn't have any rituals that I've noticed. Seems the descriptions of OCD always talk about these rituals. Does what I'm describing sound OCDish to you? (PS--he has been obserbed for Aspergers; but the doctors say he doesn't have it).

    Could you tell me about your OCD experiences so that I can see if anything jumps out at me?? Thank you all so much!! Andrea

  • #2
    Could you explain your child's OCD?

    It is quite common for people with TS to have Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour or even full blown OCD. You could be describing my son a few years ago with some of the things you are seeing.

    Art class was a nightmare for him because he could not start a drawing or other project. If he did produce something, the slightest comment about it could be taken as a major criticism and the piece of work would be ripped up.

    He went through a time period when he had to have lots of pencils (and a certain kind of pencil -- luckily cheap!), sharpened and lined up. He would have at least 20 or more on his desk and would have boxes more in his backpack.

    One thing you need to know is that OCD or OC behaviours show up a bit differently in kids with TS than in those without it. It is also very difficult to tell the difference between some complex tics and OC behaviours. However, I have found that it doesn't help much to try to figure out what is a tic and what is OCB. The result is still that your child is doing something involuntarily.

    The other thing to consider is that your son's frustration level is probably quite high and some of the behaviours you are seeing (like with the pancakes, etc.) could be a result of the frustration. If he is dealing with anxiety and SID (and possibly more) than his system has alot to process.

    You say that you your son most likely has TS -- are you waiting for a diagnosis of that?
    Forum Moderator


    • #3
      Could you explain your child's OCD?

      Hi There

      Our experiences in our household have been similar to what you and Cathy have both shared. We do not see the ritualistic behaviors but we do see and have seen things like:

      -things must be done in multiples of "two" (thank God my 3rd pregnancy was a twin :D )
      -things musts be balanced
      -specific types of forks must be used ie metal vs plastic handles
      -handprinting is traced over and over to make it just right yet to the observer the handprinting is a mess and there are holes in the page
      -events must go in a specific order so if something interfers with the "perceived" plan then things need to be replayed so it is done right
      -eggos cut in squares(so I throw away the edges :D )
      -sandwhiches cut in circles (thank God for large cookie cutter :D )
      -art class was a struggle for my son this past year too because he couldn't do things the way he believed they needed to be done

      As Cathy shared OCD vs OCB... regardless it totally prrsents differently than someone who has one specific neurology... there are so many other things coming into play with TS. The biggest key learning I have had is to never" assume" that what they want or how they wanted it yesterday is how they want things today... Ask lots of open-ended questions because they need things based on how they are in that moment... it's the nature of TS, needs typically wax and wane like the tics.

      Keep sharing, there are lots of resources in the people on this forum.

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