OCD and the Autism Spectrum

Posted by MGMolly @Erinmfs, Apr 24, 2021

My now ex husband was diagnosed with OCD long ago. My daughter is much like him. Repetitive behavior, she would never let me comb her hair, for example. Through talking at my church, a fellow Mom mentioned autism. Is OCD on the autism spectrum? How do I connect my daughter to professional guidance? Myself included. How do I talk to her about this?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Autism (ASD) group.

@Erinmfs Hello! I see you in other forums here on Mayo Clinic Connect.

Here is an article from Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, about OCD in children: https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions—pediatrics/o/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd-in-children.html As you can see they do mention a possible genetic link.

And here is an article from autismspeaks.org that may help you understand some similarities between autism and OCD: https://www.autismspeaks.org/medical-conditions-associated-autism

I have seen that at times, a source will call out OCB, obsessive compulsive behavior, replacing the disorder. In what my lifetime of Asperger's has shown me, the brain is a complicated and miraculous organ in our bodies! The thinking center, it truly is cooking along on all cylinders, all the time. Except when there might be a disconnect somewhere. Symptoms and behaviors may overlap each other, giving pause to what is going on or the cause of issues. It takes a trained professional to make accurate diagnoses. It is not a one-shot and everything is fixed. Many times, it takes hard work from the patient and family members, to adjust and get better/accept the challenges.

For example, her not wanting you to brush her hair. Is it because she wants to do it herself? Does she want a preferred style that only she can judge what it is that day? Does she shy aware from other touch from you? Is you brushing her hair anxiety-producing, in her mind?

Talk to her primary doctor about a workup from a professional. Let her know you support her and want to help her adjust. Not knowing her age, think back to when you were there. Let me know what you think of all this, and let's keep the communication flowing.
Ginger

REPLY

Hello
Your post was awhile ago, so I hope you get this.
I had a husband diagnosed OCD later in life, my youngest was diagnosed OCD at 5 and sensitivity disorder, but not on spectrum.
I raised him with no medication, powered through many situations and worked hard to learn coping mechanisms.
Was he hard to parent yes!
Did I find an occupational therapist – yes, she worked with him through touch therapy, worked with him on having him get haircuts, but more story is that I never shared his issues with the school, he learned to cope at school and at home learn to take a break talc for 30 minutes after school.
He is now a freshman at a big 10 university.
Never thought he could manage with a roommate
He amazed me- 3.5 gpa, made the baseball team his dream as a catcher since he was 9.
Manages his OCD and anxiety still without meds and has amazed me everyday.
Again, was he hard to parent YES! But did we make it through the worst of times with his OCD amazingly!
His path is physical therapy, he will be successful and on time for everything in his life.
Don’t dwell on OCD don’t label him. Just work on teaching him to Cope.
An occupational therapist will guide you
A proud mom of three

REPLY
@gingerw

@Erinmfs Hello! I see you in other forums here on Mayo Clinic Connect.

Here is an article from Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, about OCD in children: https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions—pediatrics/o/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd-in-children.html As you can see they do mention a possible genetic link.

And here is an article from autismspeaks.org that may help you understand some similarities between autism and OCD: https://www.autismspeaks.org/medical-conditions-associated-autism

I have seen that at times, a source will call out OCB, obsessive compulsive behavior, replacing the disorder. In what my lifetime of Asperger's has shown me, the brain is a complicated and miraculous organ in our bodies! The thinking center, it truly is cooking along on all cylinders, all the time. Except when there might be a disconnect somewhere. Symptoms and behaviors may overlap each other, giving pause to what is going on or the cause of issues. It takes a trained professional to make accurate diagnoses. It is not a one-shot and everything is fixed. Many times, it takes hard work from the patient and family members, to adjust and get better/accept the challenges.

For example, her not wanting you to brush her hair. Is it because she wants to do it herself? Does she want a preferred style that only she can judge what it is that day? Does she shy aware from other touch from you? Is you brushing her hair anxiety-producing, in her mind?

Talk to her primary doctor about a workup from a professional. Let her know you support her and want to help her adjust. Not knowing her age, think back to when you were there. Let me know what you think of all this, and let's keep the communication flowing.
Ginger

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Please view my post

REPLY
@boathouse

Hello
Your post was awhile ago, so I hope you get this.
I had a husband diagnosed OCD later in life, my youngest was diagnosed OCD at 5 and sensitivity disorder, but not on spectrum.
I raised him with no medication, powered through many situations and worked hard to learn coping mechanisms.
Was he hard to parent yes!
Did I find an occupational therapist – yes, she worked with him through touch therapy, worked with him on having him get haircuts, but more story is that I never shared his issues with the school, he learned to cope at school and at home learn to take a break talc for 30 minutes after school.
He is now a freshman at a big 10 university.
Never thought he could manage with a roommate
He amazed me- 3.5 gpa, made the baseball team his dream as a catcher since he was 9.
Manages his OCD and anxiety still without meds and has amazed me everyday.
Again, was he hard to parent YES! But did we make it through the worst of times with his OCD amazingly!
His path is physical therapy, he will be successful and on time for everything in his life.
Don’t dwell on OCD don’t label him. Just work on teaching him to Cope.
An occupational therapist will guide you
A proud mom of three

Jump to this post

@boathouse Yours is a very inspiring post, definitely. Your son was blessed to have a mother who is aware, and tuned in to him. The patience you had to work with him, was also a great example to your son that perseverance is key to success in this world, regardless of the diagnosis and treatment! A heart-felt congratulations to you both coming from my corner!

I really like the idea of not dwelling on labels. Years ago I read a quote from martina navritolova, the tennis great. "Labels are for clothes, not for people", or something to that effect.
Ginger

REPLY
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