Helping a Child with OCD
Most children have routines they like to follow. Bedtime rituals such as being tucked in by mom or having dad read a story, and morning rituals such as brushing teeth first and then hair, can be comforting for children and can ease the process of going to bed and getting ready in the morning. Children - as well as most adults - appreciate some routine and stability in life. However, if a child insists on performing time-consuming and seemingly purposeless rituals, such as washing their hands every time they touch a toy car or doll, or checking and re-checking their room to be sure everything is in a certain order before they are able to leave for school, then there may be cause for concern. Such behaviors may indicate that a child is suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
What is OCD?
People with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) suffer from unwanted and intrusive thoughts that they can't seem to get out of their heads (obsessions) and feel compelled to repeatedly perform ritualistic behaviors and routines (compulsions) to try and ease their anxiety. The obsessions and compulsions take up a great deal of time and can cause significant distress. Some children and adolescents with OCD spend hours performing complicated rituals involving hand-washing, counting or checking in order to ward off persistent, unwelcome thoughts, feelings or images. Others live in terror that they will accidentally do something wrong, such as harm someone or throw something out by mistake. Unlike simple worrying, children with OCD may feel powerless to stop their thoughts and behaviors. Children and adolescents may not have the awareness to understand their behaviors are irrational.
Obsessions and rituals can interfere substantially with a child's normal routine, schoolwork, family or social activities. If left untreated, OCD can interfere with all aspects of a child's life.
How Common is OCD in Children?
As many as one in 100 children may suffer from OCD. The peak age for diagnosis of OCD in children is ten years old, although it can strike children as young as two or three. Boys are more likely to develop OCD before puberty, while girls tend to develop it during adolescence, when the numbers become even. OCD tends to occur in families.
Reprinted with the permission of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.
Add your own comment
Today on Education.com
WORKBOOKSMay Workbooks are Here!
WE'VE GOT A GREAT ROUND-UP OF ACTIVITIES PERFECT FOR LONG WEEKENDS, STAYCATIONS, VACATIONS ... OR JUST SOME GOOD OLD-FASHIONED FUN!Get Outside! 10 Playful Activities
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Test Problems: Seven Reasons Why Standardized Tests Are Not Working
- Bullying in Schools
- A Teacher's Guide to Differentiating Instruction
- Steps in the IEP Process