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Ocd


Kat
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Hi I teach reception and there is a boy in my class who we are worried about. His mum came in and said she was concerned he may have obsessive compulsive disorder as he asked for his velcro shoes to be fastened over and over again. He is the same with having his cuffs on his sweatshirt rolled up and the same length. This gets very frustrating for him and his poor mum and he has started asking myself and our nursery nurse to tighten his shoes. This usually occurs before play or lunch time but can sometimes happen during the day. When we tighten them a second later he will say "but now this ones loose" or "this ones looser than that one" (one play time he asked me 20 times to tighten his shoes) I have looked it up on the internet but I am not sure what to do for the best, should i ignore this behaviour, tighten the shoes or what? I really don't want to make this problem any worse for him as its not his fault. His mum has taken him to the doctor over it but they said it is very difficult to diagnose. Any one have any ideas??? :o

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Sorry cant help. My son had a thing about pulling his socks up and then immediatly licking his fingers xD He grew out of it but he was usually unaware he was doing it anyway. It might be a silly question but do his shoes fit properly? You know how some people buy them to grow into :o

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Difficult one, is it just a passing phase or an indication of a longer obsessive disorder?

What happens if you (or mum) asks him to tighten his own shoes, or pull up (or down) his own sleeves?

Can you talk to him about his actually feelings, how does he feel if his shoes are not tightened. Obsession is a means for a feeling of being in control, yet it is an actual state of being out of control ( if you know what I mean). He needs support with how he feels if the compulsion is not met, this needs patience and time. In a sense it is the reverse of if a child won't / refuses to "do" something, we encourage them in tiny steps to do it, in this case his "doing" is exagerated, so the support required is to encourage him, in tiny steps, to reduce the doing. Does that make sense??? Asking him to wait a while before meeting his request, gradually make this waiting time longer. This would have to happen at home as well as school.

Has the need for adult attention been considered, if each time he is asking an adult to do the "doing"?

Hope it is just a phase, like Rea's example. It is the worry of the difference between "habit" and "obsession".

Does Mum or other significant people in his life portray obsessive behaviour?

 

I'd be interested to hear how you get on with this. Good luck.

 

Peggy

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Hi Kat,

Can't offer much help advice apart from my finance officer suffers from OCD. She said she knew she had a "problem" from about 5yrs old. Her sister, grandma, and uncle all suffer as well. It is very common fro it to be heriditary. Ask mum if there is any history of it. It may not have been diagnosed but she may think back to an old aunt who did some repeative things.

 

Net x

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Thanks for all your replies. I did ask him about how he felt if his shoes weren't tightened and he couldn't really verbalise his fears, he just said that they annoy him. We have tried to give his stickers and praise for when he accepts that we cannot tighten his shoes and if yesterday he earned four (as it is usually only playtimes and lunch times he asks for them to be tightned) this did seem to work, however at the end of the day when i was reading a story he started to look distressed and said "miss my stickers aren't straight, but there not straight though, but this one is higher!!" I felt awful then as thought we had replaced one obsession with another! Today we stuck them on a strip of paper and that seemed better. His mum has researched symmetry and ocd as this is where his problem seems to arise most with thinks needing to be symmetrical. She hasn't said if theres a family history but is going to take him to the doctors over it. Thank you for all your replies :) xx

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Spoke to my friend that suffers and she says that distraction but not dismissing is best. Say I will tighten your shoes once on each foot but then we can play and then distract.

She said that it normally starts because of a stressful experience that the child is unable to cope with.

Has this child moved, new sibling, mum dad divorcing etc.

There is also an artical on BBC website on health. About OCD in young children.

 

Hope any of this info helps.

 

Net x

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