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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Children

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

On a daily basis, people wash their hands over and over to get rid of germs, go check to see if they have turned the coffee pot off more than once, sweep the floor throughout the day because of dirt, or even call the same phone number over and over to see if a particular person is okay. When the these obsessive thougths and compulsions take over a person's daily activities, attention for these repetitive thoughts or impulses must be sought out.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, better know as OCD, often begins in adolescence and can be carried out through adulthood. It may go unnoticed or undetected because it often appears to be normal play in young children. It is usually more noticible when it is revealed as a chronic condition.

OCD often interferes with daily activites at home and school. As children get older, they often feel trapped because the disorder is now a vicious cycle that other students do not understand. Parents and educators have difficulty making appropriate adjustments due to the extremity of the behaviors and often seek medical and educational interventions. Specialized school programs, such as 504 or special education, ensure appropriate educational and behavioral programming based on the individual student's needs. Modifications and/or accomodations are needed for the student to be successful.

School programs such as 504 and special education work with parents' and doctors' recommendations to minimize or eliminate the student's desire to repeat the same repetitive movements throughout the day. Counseling and/or behavioral therapy is usually recommended. With interventions, the student can learn the thoughts or obsessions are unreasonable.

For more information on this topic, refer to your child's school, educational service center, or