I didn’t get downvoted this time

Monday, September 12th, 2016

As I wrote here, I got downvoted for even thinking the kid could be ODD so take him to the doctor, I got down voted like crazy and I found it disturbing how anyone could call that normal behavior for a three year old.

This time another mother wrote about her four year old son. This time she wrote:

My son has always seemed borderline obsessive to me. When he was almost two, an ill-advised bedtime routine (saying goodnight to the house, walking around it to calm down) turned into a ritual where we had to turn on and off every light in the house in specific order. At the same age, his first trip to a splash pad was no fun and ended in tears because he couldn’t control when the water turned on and off. At the time I brought it up with his doctor and she set up a test through the school district (I think they were testing for autism or developmental delay). He was off the chart for intelligence and average for social and communication skills, so we relaxed and continued to roll with the quirks. Some things got better. We no longer flip light switches and we have tons of fun at splash pads.

Now he’s almost four. He has a baby sister and just started preschool (which he loves; always reluctant to leave). So granted there may be an underlying source of anxiety there with the life changes. But he has out-of-control (not manipulative; just beside himself hysterical) tantrums about weird things. For example, he likes to use the microwave. If dad forgets and tries to rewarm his own coffee, son insists not only that we stop and let him do it but also that the coffee go back in the fridge until it’s exactly as cold as it was. If we comply, when it’s time to try again he asks us if we’re SURE it’s as cold as it was. Even if we’re very certain and reassuring and try to logically show or explain how we know the coffee is cold, he just enters a downward spiral of “how do you know, are you sure, how can you be sure.” Just flailing, screaming, hysterical “but how are you sure; I’m not sure; I need help to calm down; I need help; I need help.” (We do our best to help him very calmly and reassuringly at this stage assuming his requests are reasonable. If it’s something like “don’t scoop the cat box; I wanted to scoop it; dump the poop back in,” well, he’s SOL there.)

His worst tantrums are with his dad, either because dad is less adept at not triggering them or because dad is the working parent and son is acting out because he doesn’t see his dad enough (they have most evenings and weekends though; dad doesn’t take “me time” until son is asleep).

Lately he has even started asking questions like “how do you know this is a shirt and not pants,” “how do you know that word in the book is ‘come’ and not another word,” etc and sometimes getting upset if he isn’t satisfied with our best explanations. I get that he’s trying to understand his world; I just wonder where the line is between normal preschooler behavior and an anxiety disorder or something. I’ll be checking with his doctor in a few weeks but maybe you can tell me how worried I should be until then.

TL;DR: son is experiencing philosophical crises about controlling and understanding his world and often cannot be consoled; how normal is that at this age?

It sounded OCD to me because oft he fact she wrote that her son can’t calm himself down because he said he needed help to calm down. He sounded very distressed to me and not something he likes but he can’t stop. I suggested it and said to ask his doctor about it and anxiety and I couldn’t understand how anyone is calling this normal. Luckily another person agreed with me and said she is a pediatric nurse and other people in the thread said it sounded like OCD while other people are saying it’s normal which I find disturbing. I am also getting a lot of upvotes for my comment while last time I got downvoted as hell. What is wrong with the picture here? Life is so inconsistent.



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