Does my 8-year-old have OCD?
April 29, 2010 5:48 AM Subscribe
Seeking advice and insights on how to deal with/react to my 8-year-old son's recent obsessive-compulsive-like behavior.
My son has started some mild ritualistic behaviors: not stepping on cracks when walking and if he does, backtracking and going forward again so he doesn't; repeatedly asking if me if he will be harmed by aliens/storms/tornadoes; repeatedly asking if he will turn into a girl if he stands or steps a certain way; watching the same television show over and over for hours; repeatedly asking me to pinkie swear things won't happen if he thinks they will and then repeatedly asking me if just by saying it it will happen; repeatedly writing, erasing and rewriting certain letters or numbers on his homework.
So far, I have just been calmly answering "no" to every inquiry and making no big deal out of any of the other behavior. But some days the questions happen dozens and dozens of times.
He is otherwise healthy, eats well, plays well, participates in baseball without incident, does fine in school. I asked his teacher yesterday if she noticed anything and she said she did notice he didn't finish a morning math assignment in the allotted 25 minutes and the consequence was not going out for recess. When he discovered this, he finished the assignment in a couple of minutes. She looked at the paper and noticed some of the numbers were erased and rewritten numerous times even though they were the correct answers. She did not say this is impacting his learning yet.
I have an appointment next week with his pediatrician to get some advice.
Pertinent information: I am a single dad who has him most of the time. His mom is involved in his life but has decided to move recently from a few-minute drive from me to a 20-minute drive. We were divorced when he was three. I have asked him about the behavior and he says he just feels like he needs to do it. He can't explain why.
I would like to know if anyone else has a child who has experienced this? Should I keep on calmly answering his questions? Do I need to probe his feelings? Is this normal/just a phase?