Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I think my 5 year old has an OCD problem

From: Tina

I read a question about a 2-3 year old and you had said that was a stage of toddler-hood. I was wondering in my sons situation if it still is toddler-hood.


He is very precise about certain things. The only thing he doesn't do in the OCD list is do or say things over and over, but he has a lot of the other things on the list.

He has to wash his hands all the time because he doesn't like to get dirty. If he gets one dribble of pee on his underwear, he has to change them and get new ones, even if it water. when playing with his hot wheels cars, if he can't get them in the exact order that he wants them in, he throws them and has a huge fit.

 Actually, everything has to be in a certain order or he will freak out. if his socks or shoes aren't on right, he will freak out. I have spent hours on some days with this. I will put on his socks and then his shoes. He tells me they "feel funny" Or that they are "tight" and he will want his shoes off. I will take them off and fix his socks. Sometimes this won't work And I will go through 2-3 pairs of socks and two pairs of shoes till I eventually have to make him deal with it. He absolutely does not like his food to touch. If it does, he gets mad and wants a new plate. Like if his grilled cheese is touching his green beans. He doesn't like dirty silverware before he eats a different food. Like when I cool down his food, he wants a clean spoon. After he gets his green beans ate, he'll want me to clean his fork and so on.

There are some situations where he can't move on to a new thing till he gets the current thing in his mind done. And example of that is when he went to preschool last year. The class was going to lunch and he had noticed a tractor out of place and he wanted to put it back into place. The teacher told him that he could fix it after lunch and he just had to fix it before he could go to lunch. I've noticed this at home too. He has to complete one thing before going on to the next.

Dear Tina,


It sounds to me like his personality is that he likes order and structure. If he likes it to the point where it interferes with his development or his socialization then it probably needs to be evaluated by a professional.

However because you seem so concerned about it you may want to have him evaluated by an Infant Mental Health Specialist or someone who specializes in children just to set your mind at ease. He needs a mom who is enjoying him and his growing processes.

I also would like to recommend a book to you on sensitive children. It is a quick read and very enlightening!

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller