Could This be Childhood OCD?
Autism is a big topic in the news today. Awareness campaigns and TV commercials have really brought it to the forefront of peoples’ minds. When a kid hits the floor with a temper tantrum, I’m sure most parents can’t help but worry about autism. Childhood OCD is a different animal. It is something you rarely hear discussed, yet is growing more and more prevalent.
My daughter has always liked things to be a certain way. Even as a small child her room had to be clean every night before she went to bed. We used to think it was pretty adorable and that she was so smart for recognizing that things were not in the right place. However, an event happened recently that really made me wonder if I needed to have her evaluated.
We were in a pinch and needed a babysitter desperately. We ended up finding an old friend of mine to come over but she’d never met the kids before. She did a great job putting my daughter to bed and they got along well. However, about three minutes after my friend put her to bed, she started screaming. And screaming. My friend said she hadn’t run that fast since high school track. She said it sounded like my daughter had fallen off the bed and broken her arm.
“What’s wrong, are you hurt?” my friend asked when she got in the bedroom.
My daughter was sobbing her little heart out. “You left Cinderella on the flooooorr!!!” my daughter cried and cried until Cinderella was back in the correct spot on the bookshelf. Once it was fixed, she laid back down and went straight to sleep. My friend was really taken aback by this incident. She couldn’t believe how upset my daughter was, just because one toy was out of place. It really made me start evaluating her.
This is what her bed looks like every night.
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And by every night I mean EVERY night. No exceptions. Even the placement of every item is crucial. Tinkerbell on the right side. Cinderella on the left. Then you will notice the purse, which has specific items inside and if anything is forgotten, it can be a major tragedy, even at 2am. She will literally scream and yell and wake us up at 2am if she realizes a tiny book or pencil is missing from her purse. It’s like she wakes up in the middle of the night and takes inventory.
Not only this, but her bedtime ritual is exactly the same every night.