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A Test for Childhood OCD

For parents, teachers, and child care providers:

1. Does the child repeatedly wash her hands, use hand sanitizers, or take long showers?

2. Does he avoid being touched, refuse to play sports, or refuse to sit in certain places or allow others to?

3. Does she resist or avoid public places or public bathrooms?

4. Does he seek reassurance from you, for example, that he is not sick or dirty, that he did something correctly, or that "everything is OK"?

5. Does she fear harm or danger to herself or others, or fear she will cause harm to others?

6. Does he need to check or have you check to make sure doors or windows are locked?

7. Does she save useless items, such as scraps of paper, candy wrappers, bottle caps?

8. Does he refuse to allow others to touch his things?

9. Is she preoccupied with religious observances, praying, or saying prayers a certain number of times?

10. Does he have to apologize repeatedly or say goodbye or goodnight in a certain sequence and is very distressed when the sequence is interrupted?

11. Does she erase her printing or writing excessively and insist that it must be perfect or "just right"?

12. Does he reread things multiple times or take a very long time to read things?

13. Does she rearrange things in her room or in the house or insist that they be lined up in a certain way or "just right"?

13. Is he extremely slow with dressing, activities, chores, or school work?

14. Do family and friends have to obey her rules regarding what they can touch, or where they can sit or walk?

15. Does he worry that his thoughts can cause an event to happen or not happen?

16. Does she worry that food may have gone bad or even be poisoned?

17. Does he avoid "unlucky" or "unsafe" numbers in favor of "lucky" or "safe" ones?

18. Does she repeatedly turn light switches or electronic toys off and on?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, the child may have OCD. If the severity of the symptom(s) is low, perhaps no treatment is needed. But if the child is easily upset, throwing tantrums, crying, or seemingly overreactive to situations involving these questions, an evaluation by a mental health professional trained and experienced in the assessment of OCD in children is recommended.

Please note that the self-test above is not meant to replace a complete and thorough evaluation by a mental health professional.

Adapted by Vicki Easterling, LCSW from information provided by ocdchicago.org and ocdeducationstation.org