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constant hand washing with fairy liquid

(16 Posts)
lliissaa Fri 19-Aug-11 07:58:34

My DS has AS,ADHD and OCD he washes his hands approx up to 30 times a day. He will only use Fairy liquid if there is no fairy he will flip out. I have tried not buying it, pouring a hand wash in a fairy bottle but he can tell by the smell and feel it is not fairy. His hands and wrists look like his been burnt he will not touch food to prepare it or eat it. When hes washing his hands you cannot be in the kitchen with him and if you disturb him he has to start again. You can hear him counting as he is washing.Any body got any ideas.

daisysue2 Fri 19-Aug-11 08:11:51

How old is your ds?

lliissaa Fri 19-Aug-11 08:23:53

He is 16

Hellishday Fri 19-Aug-11 13:49:51

Oh I sympathise.
Dd 14 does the same, but thankfully will use any old thing.
I am waiting for another referral to a therapist.

lliissaa Fri 19-Aug-11 13:55:26

All Ds pyschiatrist does is offer medication which does not solve the problem.

meagle Fri 19-Aug-11 15:08:17

Hi Illisa, my DS had a similar hand-washing compulsion, though thankfully was not fussy about the brand! He has OCD and was (and still is) worried about germs and infection. He was referred to CAMHS and received a course of CBT, which gave him a strategy for reducing his fear and managing his anxieties. He is much better now, although he is not fully rid of his fears. The hand-washing stopped but other habits started, eg, keeping all windows closed in case flies get in, covering food, not touching handles that others have touched. Much depends on the willingness of the child to get rid of his or her OCD and practice de-sensitising themselves to their fears (easier said than done, I know). I would get a referral asap to CAMHS and seek therapy for him. Not sure what to suggest in the meantime - can you continue with the watered down soap? If he does flip, do you have to give in?

lliissaa Fri 19-Aug-11 15:33:03

Been seeing Camhs for bout a year all they do is come to the psychiatry appointments with me they don't visit him any more. Keep being told his anxiety levels have got to come down before they can start getting to the reason of why he has to do this. I live on my nerves waiting for the next meltdown there is no reasoning with him he goes for knives, he punches doors and walls with his fists and his head so over the fairy liqui I do give in I never run out then no meltdown.

daisysue2 Fri 19-Aug-11 17:26:12

Which medication has he been offered. Prozac does tend to work for OCD and can be quite safe. My dd was on it for other reasons for a couple of year and I have just posted yesterday quite a bit about it. I will look for the link for you.

Have they offered him CBT as Meagle says it can work really well.

Does your son understand about anxiety and how it works. It is really important for this to be explained to them so they can deal with their anxiety levels. Just a very simple explanation was given to me by an excellent psychiatriast as to why children can become uncontrolably anxious is that they don't understand that when they become anxious the level doesn't just keep going up. That it actually plateauxs and then drops down. Children with ASD believe that the anxiety levels will just keep going up and up and there is no way to stop it. Their heart is beating faster and faster and that actually it does stop. My dd was taught this and it helped her to deal with understanding her anxieties.

Good luck and do tell CAMHS that you want CBT intervention sometimes they tend to see it as part of ASD but it doesnt have to be.

daisysue2 Fri 19-Aug-11 17:28:16

Here is the link to Prozac

lliissaa Fri 19-Aug-11 20:18:06

He was flexotine but it made his sleep even worse he is on melatonin and i am waiting for a prescription cant remember the name though. Thankyou for replying to me. What is CBT

daisysue2 Sat 20-Aug-11 06:25:19

CBT is cognitive behaviour therapy. What they do is talk to the therapist about their problems and then they work out why they do it. What they are scared of. Then the therapist will work through a programme with them. It's what you often see when you watch say This Morning and someone is terrified of spiders and they bring the expert in who spends three hours with them and then they can hold a spider. It doesnt' work like that in general as these peole would have been picked carefully by the therapist, but the approach that is being used is generally CBT.

You take the parents and other experts out of the equation and they learn to trust the therapist and what they say. They may introduce items of what makes them scared in a controlled way and talk about them so they no longer have the fears. Then try to get them to think about what is causing the problems in a different way. I would ask CAMHS or your GP for a course of CBT to help. And if they wont do it ask them why? They may have their reasons as to why it wont work for your DS but do push them it may just be a financial thing.

When he was on the Fleoxitine did he take it first thing in the morning. As taking it at night would keep him away all night.

2BoysTooLoud Sat 20-Aug-11 07:30:14

Nothing useful to add - just that fairy liquid is a sod for drying out hands in my experience. I can't use it when washing up. Your poor son's hands must be so sore.
Very best of luck in trying to sort this out.

lliissaa Mon 22-Aug-11 08:08:19

My Ds is always told to take medication at night. Phoning CAMHS this morning last night used 2 bottles of fairy liquid cos he kept losing count. Then tells me he cannot see the point of carrying on cos he says he's useless and can't do anything. I feel so useless and frustrated as a mother.
Thanks for your help everyone I feel better by just writing this and knowing i am not on my own.

2BoysTooLoud Mon 22-Aug-11 16:45:17

I hope you get some helpful support from CAMHS.
This must be distressing for both of you.

MissKittyEliza Mon 22-Aug-11 18:20:41

I feel for you. And I hope whatever they've prescribed for your son helps.

My own son is unreachable ATM. His ASD is nothing compared to the OCD. He's just gone onto Fluexetine. Only hoping It kicks in soon. It's been a beautiful day and ds has mostly been alone. He won't allow me near him. At all. In case he "hurts " me. Hand washing has extended to arms and back, every time he goes to the toilet.

I'm willing to give anything a try.

zzzzz Mon 22-Aug-11 18:59:31

Could you try approaching Fairy for scent etc... Large companies can be very kind if you write to them, they might even give you a good idea about what to mix it with.

Could you find another [perhaps UV???] way of cleaning his hands?

Would he tolerate a deep moisturising ie Vaseline in gloves/cling film to help his skin?

Could a dose of piriton help if he is becoming sensitive?

Could you make purchase of Fairy Liquid on the proviso of moisturising afterwards?

Perhaps you could find out what they use in hospitals for staff who have to wash their hands constantly and he could see the sense of changing to that?

I can't help thinking this is the sort of thing ABA would really help. One of the ABA'ers will be bale to help on that, but I think if he is willing a plan of desensitising has got to be part of the solution.

Sorry if all rubbish. Just throwing out random thoughts, in the hopes something/anything will help. It must be horrid.

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