Friday, September 21, 2007

A Little OCD????

Today I went to pick up Matthew from daycare. I'd stayed home from work because I wasn't feeling great, and by 4:30 I was ready to have some company.
Because I was a little earlier than usual the supervisor was there. I was asking her about Matthew, how he's doing, etc. She mentioned to me that she's slightly concerned about some of Matt's behaviours. In particular about his obsessive nature.
It's not new to us. We've always joked that he's a little OCD. Except it's not terribly funny when it's not so much a joke as it is something being brought to your attention.
I know basically nothing about this. I always thought OCD was just washing your hands a lot. Matt just tends to be completely anal about lining stuff up. Like, if he has his cars out he wants them in a straight line. Or if he's playing with his trains he will get completely frustrated with trying to get them all on the track. And he will visualize a track and completely freak out when it's not working. But, I guess unlike some kids he doesn't let it go. A lot of kids will get mad and walk away. He'll either figure it out or have a meltdown.
I guess this has happened a lot at daycare lately. He wants toys to be very specific or he has a complete meltdown.
I'm thinking this is normal. I'm also thinking that I'm glad that my beloved doctor happens to be his doctor (even though I'm going to switch to someone local for Matt) because I know if I ask her she will likely tell me that this is not something to worry about.
I asked what they are doing when he has a meltdown. And, we both had to laugh because she told me they have been doing breathing exercises. Apparently the latest thing that they are doing in their training is learning deep breathing techniques and when one child has a meltdown they lead the class (or the group or just the child) in some deep breathing exercises.
I had to ask how it was going.
"Oh - they look at me like I'm crazy" she explained, adding that she did feel a little crazy. No doubt! I happen to believe that breathing exercises are effective, but I'm not trying to lead 15 preschoolers in breathing exercises.
So, to review ... my child may have some sort of obsessive compulsive issue and to resolve it we are breathing through it.
For now we'll go with it. I mean, why not? Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Just to be clear - I have done some basic internet research on OCD and ADD and ADHD. I don't think it's any of those. None of them remotely match what we're talking about. And, she didn't actually say OCD. It's more just some sort of obsession thing. Still - it's the thought of going through testing that worries me.


Anonymous said...

Lining up objects sounds like Autism.

AndreAnna said...

Um, I won't even give the anonymous person above me the merit of a response.

Anyway, I'm glad that you did all your research and are going to see your doctor. But, all kids have phases and quirks, and as long as you watch it, and go to the doctors like you're doing, you have nothing to worry about.

Laural Dawn said...

If I thought my child was autistic I would be a lot more concerned.

Thankfully I have the benefit of having a father who is an educator and a mother who among other things has been in education and psychology. My father, in particular, works with autistic children and would be quite on top of the issue if he suspected that.

Anonymous said...

Thats great news! Its just something that has been close to our family so I wanted to flag it for you if it could be an issue. I'm so glad it isnt!

Teena said...

We all have funny quirks.

SciFi Dad said...

20 years ago the teacher would have said he's "quite particular" about how he plays and you never would have given it a second thought except to say, "yep, same kid as at home".

I lived with someone who I suspected had obsessive tendencies (in truth, I said he was fucking insane, but that was then); he used to shower for 2-4 hours... that's the running water duration.

There's a difference between being a little anal or obsessive and OCD. I would mention it casually to the doctor and see what they say; as you suspect, they will likely tell you not to worry.

PS - to anonymous: this is not meant to sound condescending or rude, but if you're going to comment anonymously on a blog with an armchair diagnosis, you're probably better off not commenting at all. It makes you appear weak and chicken shit to stand behind your words. Again, this is just a piece of advice, and not meant to be rude.

zdoodlebub said...

My son does have an autism dx - it's very mild and he is high-functioning, now in third grade. We've worked hard the last almost six years and learned a lot.

Not saying your guy has anything worth labeling. That's not it at all. But 1 in 110 kids are dx these days. And I just get slightly annoyed about the attitudes and fears of dealing with autism. Autism is not the end of the world.

We all have our quirks and different coping styles. I'm only piping up because...

Your worries about going through the testing...I've been there, trust me. Cried my way through a lot of it.

But all my tears and worries were about me and my fears about what I might or might not learn - what I didn't think I could handle.

If you are going to pursue any answers or testing for Matt, you should do it while you are pregnant and before you have two kids to care for. And before you may possibly be dealing with post-partum again (I read some of your previous posts - very moved by your bravery in writing about it.)

And being casual with your doctor won't work. Unless you want him to tell you not to worry, even if it's not true. If you want to take it to the next level so you can get real answers, you've got to push your dr.

It may just be a quirk of his personality, but think of how helpless and out of control he must feel in those moments when he's melting down.