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Compulsive behaviour coping strategies for 9 year old boy(5 Posts)
My DS (9) suffers from anxiety and low self esteem. He's been assessed by a child psychologist who said he was borderline autistic and that I should seek the advice of an Occupational Therapist to help him with his mild Dyspraxia.
He is very routine led and has to have things just so. That I could deal with but in he last two weeks he has started washing his hands every time he touches anything he considers dirty (he lets the dog slobber all over his face though and isn't concerned about that!), things like towels that have been used or touched a part of his body, my underwear e.g., if he accidentally brushes his hand against my bra strap when I'm giving him a hug, if he's touched his own face, etc. It's happening up to 30 times a day, so much so the skin between his fingers is starting to peel.
Any ideas what I can do to help him stop?
Oh poor little love. I’ve no idea sorry but just didn’t want you to go unanswered.
Hopefully someone will be along soon
I suffered with many rituals as a child particularly around washing, all based on anxiety/fear. I found the more I read about anxiety and OCD the more I understood why I was doing the things I was doing. It made me less scared of what I was going through and gave me techniques to try to fight the fear.
I think you are asking specifically about the washing, but if you think the underlying cause is anxiety, you could try reading with him “what to do when you worry too much: a kids guide to overcoming anxiety”. Or read some self help books yourself to give you some ideas of cbt exercises you could suggest to him.
I hope things get better for him.
I recently bought "Starving Your Anxiety Gremlin" and we had a look through it last night. School have been pretty good at helping too although I think he manages to contain the obsessiveness in school. His current obsession is not eating anything with chocolate in it just in case he gets some on his hands and the dog licks them as he read that chocolate is poisonous for dogs. He keeps on saying sorry to me too for thinking that I'm fat in his head (I am but I'd rather he didn't keep telling me!)