It’s one of the toughest decisions you will have to make in your life-time, and certainly nothing to be taken lightly. It’s a last resort, and only you and your doctors can know when, or if the time is right to implement this kind of treatment–When you can tell that your child is truly suffering when the rituals cannot be carried out “correctly” and he/she cannot move forward with the rest of their day till you start over at the beginning and follow-through to the end in “proper” sequence. (Lots of “do-over’s”)
The mere words sound abusive. It’s as if you’re taking the easy road and just don’t want to bother with “parenting” your child. That’s the way many people in the media, well-meaning friends and family, and yes, sometimes even those voices inside your head make you feel. It seems so permanent and as if you’re meddling with the brain chemicals God gave your baby.—BUT, here’s the deal: Sometimes stuff just goes amok with our bodies, even children’s. Ask anyone with a child with diabetes or any other more tangible condition or disease. They wouldn’t think twice about giving their child their insulin or other appropriate medication. I guess some reasons why people can’t seem to wrap their brains around medicating children for these mental disorders is that; A- some schools have taken on the role of doctors and have recommended medications for some students that haven’t been formally diagnosed with ADHD and apparently enough parents have “caved” on it “to possibly calm their kids down” (?) and pushed it through with their pediatricians, and this has caused such a negative public opinion; B- The fear of messing with the brain chemicals in general-(not to be taken lightly by any means); C- Dosing issues can be troublesome. But, these doctors are geniuses! When our daughter was a toddler, he had us crush her pill and add it to a little juice for her to drink each morning. When she got older, he had her practice swallowing orange flavored Tic-Tac’s; D-Criticism. And yeah, this is just unavoidable. What people don’t live with and deal with day-to-day, they just aren’t going to fully comprehend. Plain and Simple. We just got used to the looks people gave each other. If you’re in a situation where you need to share things with them, then you will develop a thick skin over time.
Early Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Not being a doctor myself, just a mom, I do need to say that behavioral therapy, or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), when children or teens are old enough is really important too. Have your doctor recommend someone that they think your child can really connect with and specializes in OCD. There are incredible clinical psychologists out there that are truly gifted at working with these very special kids. They are used to working with these disorders and with children, so when you and your doctors think you and your child can benefit from learning some new “tools” to manage symptoms and rituals, by all means, schedule that appointment! If you don’t get the feeling that your child “connects”, it’s ok to check around for another specialist, too.
I remember scheduling an appointment for myself with the psychologist when my daughter was very young, just so I could learn how to help her. He’d already seen her a few times and knew how to help me help her. Boy, was that ever valuable time spent!!