OCD in Children

Overview:

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OCD inflicts 1 in 200 young people, often disrupting their academic, social, and vocational functioning.  There is a concern among professionals regarding this demographic, because so few receive a correct diagnosis and even fewer receive appropriate treatment.

If you’re a parent, how can you ensure your child receives the right treatment?  If you suspect your child suffers from OCD, it is suggested that you request the school psychologist administer the Children’s Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (CY-BOCS), and/or have a qualified therapist administer the test and discuss your concerns.

What to expect in treatment:

The parent and child first need to understand the nature of the disorder.  Simplified cognitive training is provided and adjusted according to the child’s cognitive function.  Treatment includes:  identifying the obsessions and compulsions, triggers, associated avoidance behaviors, time taken, distress experienced, interference with different functional areas in the child’s life, motivation and ability to resist, and the inclusion of members of the family into the rituals.  A symptom list (stimulus hierarchy) is created according to the child’s view of difficulty.  The child’s strength’s are emphasized in order to empower the young client against OCD.  Parents’ participation in treatment is essential for satisfying results.

Drawings, pictures, handouts, story books, puppets, and other visual aids will be used in order to help the child understand the concepts presented in treatment.