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KSS

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  1. Hello MH, i am also new here, but what you write about your daughter sounds so familiar to me I felt I had to post just to let you know that you're not the only ones going through something like this. I see you've been offered some help at a facility and I'd love to hear how that works for you. My daughter has just turned 10 and she has had OCD symptoms since about age 6 or 7, I would say. Difficult to pinpoint as it crept up on us and for a long time we didn't know what it was. Things got significantly worse about a year ago, when she broke her foot and could no longer hide her avoidance or compulsions and her fear came out as aggression. As parents our natural reaction was to discipline what we saw as unacceptable behaviour (violence, shouting, rudeness, refusal to do basic things) but this only made things worse. Like your daughter she has fear about touching things and has never been able to articulate her bad thoughts so what snowbear says really makes sense. For a long time she wouldn't touch cutlery, or would wash it under running water for several minutes first. She spends most of her time in the house with just knickers on as she won't wear clothes, and is mostly in her bed. She does still go to school (most days) but can get through several changes of clothes before she leaves the house. For a long time she wouldn't touch her shoes, and persuading her to put them on could take a very long time and she still wouldn't do them up (she now has shoes that don't need doing up). She won't touch most things in the house and if something inadvertently touches her or something of hers she goes into meltdown. Like you a lot of this was directed at her sibling which makes it particularly sad. She would have nothing to do with her sister and treated her appallingly to avoid her, but even worse than that, her dad and I tell her sister what she is and isn't allowed to do based on what we know will trigger the OCD (e.g. don't sit there, don't walk there, don't touch that). The list goes on and on as I'm sure you know. The OCD and her behaviour control the household. We reached crisis point several months ago when it was taking 3-4 hours to get her out of the house to school and the violence meant I had to physically restrain her, sometimes for up to 2 hours. She sometimes showered in all her clothes and shoes and floods the bathroom many times. She was also suicidal. Some things have improved lately which I think is down to a number of things. 1. We all understand better what we are dealing with. My husband and I have done a lot of research into OCD and I have also got books aimed at children and she has read these and we have talked about it together. When she is not being controlled by the OCD does seem to be able to understand quite a lot, and I think her growing up is helping her understand herself better too. 2. We have also changed / lowered our expectations. E.g. instead of insisting she comes to the dinner table to eat with the family we would let her do it on her own terms, we allow her to use her tablet far more than normal as she can 'zone out' with that which stops her noticing things which upset her, instead of nagging her to get out of bed to do something with the day we let her decide what / when to do. This has improved our relationship with her and she now opens up much more about what triggers her OCD, which helps me understand and make some allowances / avoid in anticipation (I know this is accommodating the OCD and the wrong thing to do but it gets us through the day). 3. She now plays computer games with her sister and they have forged a virtual relationship through the games. They don't need to touch each other, but can still interact. Over time this seems to have helped with their real relationship too. She will allow her sister closer to her and they sometimes play together although this is still rare and she normally needs to shower after. Although a lot of this seems to be accommodating the OCD, it is also allowing her to be in control of tackling it and she does do lots of things by herself now. She doesn't like me to notice or mention it at the time as it makes it harder for her, but when we talk every night I tell her that I noticed that she picked up her bag, or touched the light switch, or opened a drawer, or sat on the swing etc etc etc, and that it must have been hard for her and that I'm proud of her. She really appreciates this and it gives her a boost. One tip around teeth cleaning - she would also never do this, but allowed her dad to every night. We did manage to get her to the dentist recently and they used disclosing solution on her to show her all the plaque build up. We bought some disclosing tablets to use at home and this is enough motivation for her to clean her own teeth again to scrub away all the purple! We still have some really bad days, but the violence and outbursts are much less. We are on a waiting list for CBT from the NHS since January (8 months) but still waiting and no indication of when this might be. We keep on going as best we can, muddling through as parents and trying not to let the OCD get worse and control our lives anymore than it already does. i really hope you found your stay in the facility helpful and wish you all the best with finding something to improve your daughter's and your lives.
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