It's Not Exactly A Secret, Sweetie, but Maybe You Shouldn't Tell Everyone That You Have OCD
November 30, 2010 3:10 AM Subscribe
My 12-year old 6th grade son wants to mention that he has OCD for an in-class project and I don't know how to handle this. I know as a middle school teacher that his audience may not respond the positive/neutral way he thinks they will and while I want as a mommy to spare him unnecessary peer nastiness, I also don't want him to think OCD is something to hide. Help.
posted by dzaz to grab bag (30 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
He has "bad thought" OCD and it's mostly under control; you wouldn't know he has it.
For an "All About Me" project, my kid mentions that one of the big things that make him who he is that he has OCD. Overall, he's a pretty with-it kid, he has a lot of friends, gets great grades, is considered the appropriate goofball in class by his teachers. To him, the OCD isn't negative, it's part of what makes him tick.
But I know kids and my teacher/mommy instinct is that he may very likely be targeted by not-quite-accepting-kids. And I want to spare him that because kids that age can be SO MEAN, and my kid doesn't quite get that.
I also don't want him thinking that his OCD is something to be ashamed of (and while I very much wish we lived in an open, accepting world where differences were celebrated, we don't and I don't need my kid to begin the one-littleman crusade for acceptance).
I've tried talking to him about oversharing, that whether I color my hair or curse when driving is something we can talk about in the family, but it's really only a family/best friend conversation. (FWIW, his teachers know and they're not sure how to let this play this out; at this point, in-class presentations are off and the reports won't be put on the bulletin board. But this is undoubtedly going to come up again.)
So how do I play this with him?