What do therapists tell you to do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2010
What do therapists tell you to do?
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 4:25pm

My 6yo step-son is getting ready to be evaluated and we highly suspect he will be diagnosed with AS. I was curious about what parents with children who have been diagnosed are told by their therapists. In particular, I'm interested in obsessions. Right now he seems to go through obsession phases where he will get onto something and be on that obsession for maybe 60-90 days then move to something else. With his obsessions we try to pick and choose what to enforce by determining if it's really a problem or not. Examples would be, he has an obsession about writing down the time/date of a tv show he sees advertised. He doesn't ever write down the show name or watch the show, but he has to write it down. We just let this go because doesn't affect anything or anyone. However, his obsession of recording things on the TiVo is one we enforce because it's very annoying to us and also it fills up the TiVo then when he can't pause shows he gets mad, throws the remote, etc. So, the rule is he has to ask if he can TiVo something and we usually say "no".

One thing he obsesses about lately is knowing exactly where we are if he can't see us, even if we are on the same floor of the house. If we get out of the car to pump gas, he asks us to walk around the front so he can see us. He tells me that he just wants to know exactly where we are and not that he is worried about us leaving him alone. If we are in a different room and he's watching TV, he will run in there every couple minutes to make sure we are still in the same spot. A couple weeks ago he was behind the car and we were beside of it. We walked around to the front and he nearly freaked when we weren't in the same spot when he came back around to the side. Anyone else experienced this and if so, what did the therapist tell them to do or how to handle it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-2006
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 6:05pm

Oh my gosh, I didn't think anyone else had a child that obsessed on recording things on the tv like ours does too! Yes that's my 14 yr olds latest obsession, he has to record everything and it's driving us nuts lol.

I told dh we need to sit down with him and explain that we will allow him to record 5 things a day for a week (give him a visual chart so he can mark each day off), then the next week he can record 4 things, then lower it as time goes by. This way he can get that OCD type behaviors out, which are hard for them to stop, and eventually have some kind of relief on your end.

As for the checking, thats our youngest son (10) but he does have alot of separation anxiety so we let that go because it makes him feel safe. Checking is also a very strong OCD sympton, not just a separation anxiety thing, so it's just as compulsive. For us we just let him do what he needs to do and hope it passes soon. You will find that alot of the obsessive stuff does eventually go and like you have noticed change as time goes on.

If anyone else has any ideas for the checking or the separation anxiety I am all ears here because I am interested too.