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Meghan
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07 Mar 2011, 2:32 pm

Ok so from what I understand (I'm new at this - and gaining so so much knowledge from this board) OCD is fairly common with kids on the spectrum. My DS has not been diagnosed yet (we're on the year long waiting list) but my husband and I and his teachers are confident that he will be diagnosed with either Aspergers or PDD-NOS. He is 3.5 years old. But recently I've started thinking that some of the traits he has are not necessarily spectrum traits but perhaps OCD. Just wanted some thoughts/ opinions. I should also mention that he is speech delayed and is currently using mostly 2-3 word sentences right now. Here are some examples:

He learned to count to 10 a few months ago and he counts over and over and over all day long throughout the day.
He gets us to draw pictures but always of the exact same things choo choo, car, tree, house, sun, moon, star. Usually starting in the same order every time.
He will randomly say the same words over and over choo choo, car, bus, house, choo choo, car bus, house. Out of the blue. (this has not happened as often lately)
He has been a nail biter for quite some time, but has recently started biting the skin on his fingers and they were raw, I put anti bite nail polish on them and he stopped biting but started picking at them.
One day his dad came home from work and played hide and seek with him. Since that day every time his dad walks in the door, DS runs and hides, it has now become a ritual.

I just always assumed these things were spectrum related. But I read somewhere about OCD in toddlers and it seemed to fit. What do you think?



Shadwell
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07 Mar 2011, 5:24 pm

Could be co-morbidity. Obsessions are something people with OCD and aspergers share. The DSM-5, which should be coming out within the next few years, is supposed to address a lot of issues of co-morbidity.



angelbear
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07 Mar 2011, 5:36 pm

I am not a doctor and do not know too much about OCD, but my son who is almost 6 has these little rituals and routines. Most of the time, they fade over time, and he will start something new. When my son was 2.5, he became interested in car makes and models. My husband drives a Volkswagon, and my son would want to run around and around his car and just keep touching the VW logo. The he started drawing the VW logo. He would do this repetitively for a long time. Then he became interested in churches. When we would drive around town, he would ask me what the name of a church was. He then started memorizing the names of all the churches. Then he started drawing churches over and over. He would do this for hours if would have let him. We did let him do it ALOT though. At school, it got to where that was all he wanted to do was draw churches. They started using it as a reward for him completing a task. If he would do X, then he could draw a church. This went on for about 2 years. Now he is no longer drawing churches.

Now we have a bed time routine, and we say certain things each night before we go to bed. He likes to say them in order. He also started with the flicking lights on and off. He also loves to play with the telephone and just hit the buttons over and over until he can hear the recorded messages from the "We're sorry, this call cannot be completed as dialed." He is stuck on this now.

I am not sure if this is OCD, but I could be wrong. I think autism just has a repetitive element to it. There are patterns of repetive behavior.

My son too says things over and over sometimes. When he was really little that was one of the key things that made us realize he was on the spectrum. He started saying "Sesame Street was brought to you today by......and he would say it over and over.

Maybe some other parents with OCD experience will chime in and give more input.



angelbear
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07 Mar 2011, 5:41 pm

I just wanted to add that since my son has been diagnosed, I have done a lot of analysis of myself. And although I have never gone for any evaluation, I do think I have some shades of OCD. I have gone through periods in my life where I was pretty obsessed with certain people or topics. I don't think it has ever been enough to get a diagnosis, but I do wonder if this is where my son gets some of these things.



OddDuckNash99
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07 Mar 2011, 7:45 pm

The only thing that potentially sounds like OCD is the counting and nail biting. AS rituals make a person feel secure and safe; the individual enjoys doing them. OCD is all about fear and anxiety. If your son is doing these things for fun, as it seems from your description, it isn't OCD. I have both OCD and AS, and my OCD started when I was 3, around your son's age. So, if you have any other questions, let me know.


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tskin1
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10 Mar 2011, 1:52 am

at this age chances are that PDD-NOS will be the diagnosis your son will get it was explained to me when my son was this age that there was enough diviation from the "norm" that it could not be ignored but that there are also so many variables that play into a childs development. They will more than likely give him this diagnosis and then help you to start getting him different services that will help him in area's where he is behind or needs help... once he gets to about 5 or 6 and is in school type settings around other kids this is when they'll narrow down their diagnosis but the other posters are right there are so many possible co existing things that run along with the AS (not in all kids).. like ADD and ADHD, OCD, ODD the list goes on most of the time they wont bother to co list all these different things they'll just explain to you that most likely the tendancy toward them is part of the make up of of his AS.

Also very interesting I found way back then is that the psych we were involved with took a lot of time to explain that any one of these things alone would probably be considered "normal" but that it's the group of things all together in one child that makes it different.. for example it's common for any child to play with one particular toy because it's their favorite, also common for any child to want to be alone or for a child suffering from sibling rivalry to possibly eat things like blankets, common for any child to not speak because they dont want to ...ect. so many different things but when you have a child who exibits enough of these things all at once this is when they pay attention, give you a diagnosis and try to help you get intervention for them:)

Ouch on the fingers poor lil guy hang in there reguardless of what diagnosis your son recieves there are so many things you can start to do even before then to help the lil guy accomplish anything in life!! While your waiting for a "diagnosis" read what you can on these things like your doing and look up interventions or suggestions and stratagies for helping him and remember your his parent so you know him better than any doctor ever will:) good luck



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12 Mar 2011, 3:51 am

OCD is a specific basal ganglia dysregulation disorder and it's distinguished from other types of obsessive or compulsive behavior not just by the nature of the obsessions or compulsion but by the intentions and motivations behind them. I've authored some posts giving more detail on this.

I imagine it would be very rare for OCD to onset so early. Mine only began to onset when I was 4 and didn't really manifest explicitly until I was 6, and that was considered rare as most cases onset during the teenage years.

Your son's obsessions and rituals seem more typical of an ASD than OCD.



Chronos
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12 Mar 2011, 3:52 am

Shadwell wrote:
Could be co-morbidity. Obsessions are something people with OCD and aspergers share. The DSM-5, which should be coming out within the next few years, is supposed to address a lot of issues of co-morbidity.


OCD obsessions are entirely different than AS obsessions.



CsMommy
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24 Sep 2011, 9:44 am

Chronos wrote:
Shadwell wrote:
Could be co-morbidity. Obsessions are something people with OCD and aspergers share. The DSM-5, which should be coming out within the next few years, is supposed to address a lot of issues of co-morbidity.


OCD obsessions are entirely different than AS obsessions.


Can you elaborate?
I have a now 4 year old who was DX with a severe case of OCD last spring (when she was 3). But now I am trying to figure out if her obsessions might be AS related.



btbnnyr
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24 Sep 2011, 3:24 pm

None of these behaviors sound like OCD. They are all pleasing behaviors of ASD. It feels good to do these things, over and over and over again and again and again.



lovelyboy
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25 Sep 2011, 1:45 am

What stands out for me is the fact that OCD is an anxiety disorder.....and a child with AS usually has very high levels of anxiety.....so both might stem from the anxiety and result in behaviour that tries to lesson this feeling of anxiety......I do think in order to diagnose OCD this behaviour needs to be so severe that it limits the indiviuals ability to carry out normal activities of daily living, also debilitating their social interaction....

If I'm not mistaken OCD doesn't just have to be behaviour, but also repettitive thoughts, this is the compulsion and the individual might choose to verbalize this thought or not......the pdoc said that alot of people do experience these thoughts, but keep it to themselves and only tell other people later about it. In my sons case, he is 8 yr old now he kept on saying all these ugly inappropriate things, regarding, blood, violence and death....The pdoc, said that OCD thoughts usually include thoughts regarding religion or violence. She doubled his dose of antidepressants that also helps decreasing anxiety, and she was spot on, within 1-2 weeks this type of talking stopped within my son, to me, confirming that this behaviour was on a subconsious, neurological level....

I agree that you need to look at the motivation or absense of to understand this behaviour.....


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azurecrayon
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25 Sep 2011, 2:36 pm

i think people often forget these parts of autism: "apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals" and "stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language". just because it quacks like ocd doesnt mean its ocd, there are repetitiveness and rituals in asd, too.


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