Signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Children (Adapted and expanded from Detecting Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Children and Teens, by Cherlene Pedrick RN in Teachers in Focus, February 1999)
Being overly concerned with dirt and germs.
Frequent hand washing or grooming, often in a ritualistic manner - red, chapped hands from excessive washing.
Long and frequent trips to the bathroom.
Avoiding playgrounds and messy art projects, especially stickiness.
Untied shoes, since they may be "contaminated."
Avoiding touching certain "unclean" things.
Excessive concern with bodily wastes or secretions.
Insistence on having things in a certain order.
Having to count or repeat things a certain number of times, having "safe" or "bad" numbers.
Repeating rituals, such as going in and out of doors a certain way, getting in and out of chairs in a certain way, or touching certain things a fixed number of times. This may be disguised as forgetfulness or boredom.
Excessive checking of such things as doors, lights, locks, windows, and homework.
Taking excessive time to perform tasks. You may find a lot of eraser marks on school work.
Going over and over letters and numbers with pencil or pen.
Excessive fear of harm to self or others, especially parents.
Fear of doing wrong or having done wrong.
Excessive hoarding or collecting.
Staying home from school to complete assignments, checking work over and over.
Withdrawal from usual activities and friends.
Excessive anxiety and irritability if usual routines are interrupted.
Daydreaming - the child may be obsessing.
Inattentiveness, inability to concentrate (often mistaken as ADD).
Getting easily, even violently upset over minor, trivial issues.
Repetitive behaviors including aimlessly walking back and forth in the halls.
Unexplained absences from school.
Persistent lateness to school and for appointments.
Excessive, repetitive need for reassurance for having done, thought, or said something objectionable.
Asking for reassurance, when the answer has already been given.
Rereading and re-writing, repetitively erasing.
* Source: OCD Resource Center of Florida
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