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5 year old with strange rituals

(14 Posts)
NeatFreak Mon 24-Feb-14 13:56:01

My ds is five and a happy, well adjusted boy, if slightly lacking in confidence in some areas. He's well behaved, does well at school and has a fab imagination.

However, we are getting a little concerned about strange rituals and obsessions he has; he's never liked having messy hands or face so won't paint, do playdoh or play in the gardening. He can't touch anything sticky, let alone eat it, so no ketchup, jelly, jam etc. if I ask him to put the ketchup in the fridge he gets really upset even if the bottle is clean. He also has strong routines especially in the bathroom, where he uses bits of tissue to flush the loo, open doors and won't dry his hands on the towel in case it's dirty. If he absolutely has to use the bin he opens it with his elbow.

Writing it down, it does sound a bit unusual but these things have slowly developed since he was about one. Also, over the last few months he has developed what I can only describe as 'tics'- for a while he kept blinking incessantly, then moved onto screwing his nose up every minute or so and now he keeps opening his mouth really wide when he's talking .

Has anybody got any experiences of these things or suggestions? I've tried talking and reassuring him but that doesn't help. Ignoring the 'tics' seems to work best as he does stop them on his own but soon replaces them with something else. I think I might talk to his teacher- or is this nothing to worry about? I don't want it to end up ruling his life (and I say that as someone who had mild OCD as a child, mainly around numbers, pairs, syllables in words etc and remember getting really stressed by it)

NeatFreak Mon 24-Feb-14 18:52:50

Shameless bump. Apologies

aroha77 Mon 24-Feb-14 19:53:42

I wonder if it might be worth chatting to your GP about it? They might be able to refer you on doing some advice?

NoIamAngelaHernandez Mon 24-Feb-14 19:54:46

I would talking to his teacher.

Back2Two Mon 24-Feb-14 19:58:44

Does his behaviour mimic yours at all? (Only you mention being fastidious as a child neatfreak a truism?)

Whereisegg Mon 24-Feb-14 20:06:35

I would talk to his teacher to establish how/if it is affecting his school life, but I would be seeing the gp even if he is fine at school.

Good luck op.

NeatFreak Mon 24-Feb-14 21:20:35

Thanks all, I have an appointment with his teacher tomorrow so will see if/how it is manifesting in school.

I don't think he's mimicking me too much as the things that bother him don't bother me- I like everything to be tidy-ish but I'm not fastidious. Our house is far from tidy! I get a bit obsessive sometimes but it's over admin- type things he shouldn't pick up on, like organising holidays, shopping lists etc- i do lots of lists, double check them and make sure there is a plan b. a child I remember singing tunes and they had to have even numbered syllables and car registration numbers had to make up real words but I decided one day I didn't like doing it any more and just stopped. From less than a year old he has refused to do messy play (annoying when you'd really like hand prints!)

Bedsheets4knickers Mon 24-Feb-14 21:39:02

While he's so young can u try to create situations that pushes his comfort zones slightly , do some nature walks , make some pizzas for tea, drop an egg on the floor see if he'l help you clean it up. lots of touchy feely things. It does sound like OCD, he's very young it can be helped probably cured. Get some professional advice. I'm sure it can be controlled x

NeatFreak Mon 24-Feb-14 21:49:26


I do try to push him as much as I can- sometimes I know he will like something and bribe him to try it with the proviso he can spit it out if he hates it and have got him to eat a few things that way, like melon. He does like cooking but won't touch eggs. He will join in but you can see him itching to wash his hands as soon as he can. Similarly, visits to the park etc are usually ok but it's best if I have baby wipes to clean his hands if needed.

Just remembered he went through a phase when he was around two when he wouldn't step on sand but with coaxing and encouragement he was ok, he's happier wearing sandals but will do it now.

Writing it all down has helped me realise all the little things that add up so I will also book a doc appointment. Thanks

Whereisegg Tue 25-Feb-14 16:17:00

How did you get on with his teacher?
I hope he's coping ok at school.

NeatFreak Tue 25-Feb-14 18:03:53

The teacher says he is fine at school but she has noticed a couple of things. He's going to monitor it for a few days then report back and in the meantime is going to talk to the senco for advice. All very supportive and encouraging, which is good!

MrsDavidBowie Tue 25-Feb-14 18:08:51

DD has ocd which began at about 5.
Unfortunately it wasn't picked up properly till she was about 11.....she is now 17.

Glad the school are being supportive (ours wasn't!) I would make an appointment at the drs without him so you can talk honestly about it, and then take him in so doctor can assess him.

Whereisegg Tue 25-Feb-14 18:10:26

That's great news, what a lovely teacher smile

NeatFreak Tue 25-Feb-14 18:19:00

Thanks. I couldn't get an appointment for a couple of weeks but this means I have time to speak to school properly. It doesn't seem to bother him as such but I want to avoid it developing to a point where it does upset him

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