One day, I jokingly posted a status on FB asking if a 2-year old can be diagnosed with OCD. Matt was going through some peculiar things at that time. Several mother-friends shared with me things that their children did and while it made me feel better, one comment stopped me in my tracks.
My roommate from college...one of the many...her daughter had been diagnosed at 2 and a half with OCD. I felt horrible and contacted her directly to find out more information. I did this partially because I felt bad for joking about it (she was cool with it, but wanted to let me know it was within the realm of possibility...she felt that educating other people about this was her job in a way...she had felt so alone that she doesn't hesitate to put it out there for others), but I partially did it because I was really really curious.
How do you know? I often have little "feelings" about things. I don't know if this is my psychology background or my teaching experience, but I am on the look-out for things.
I'm not a psycho-Mom or anything, hovering over my child trying to diagnose him with a psychological disease...I just note certain behaviors.
|He set this blanket up on Thursday and all of the elements have remained the same since. He gets really irritated when I have to move his "picnic blanket" or if I take anything...like the magnets that I was afraid of fishing out of his stomach.|
|His and Hailey's stamps...I know it doesn't look like it, but I'm pretty sure there is an order here.|
|No less than four trucks...his orange dumper, his garbage trucks, and his "excabator."|
|His jigsaw puzzle...truth be told, this set came with four puzzles, but his favorite has been the Colors from the beginning. You can't see the colors because they're all facing the same direction...of course.|
|A library book...about trucks, naturally.|
|A bridge, but not just any bridge...a broken bridge...over Troubled Waters, perhaps? Oh, and the middle piece was lined up like that on purpose...I'm sure of it. It was that perfect.|
|Puzzle pieces from another puzzle, but only these...not the other ones. He doesn't "need dem."|
|Birthday cake decorations from a toy birthday cake, but they have to be in the orange dumper. Only one can be face up.|
|Top view...all of the bottom stamps are the same size and lined up precisely so that this tower would "work."|
|He hates to take pictures lately, but when I asked him to take one with his line of stamps (on the table in from of him), he smiled right away!|
|This is how he needs his boots and shoes lined up when we get home from an outing...and certainly before I put our movie on. He freaks out if I try to start it while he's still lining up his shoes.|
I am, in no way, hinting to the fact that my son has any mental illness...nor am I poking fun at kids who suffer from mental illness. That breaks my heart.
I am documenting these little nuances of Matt's to see where they go. I am curious to see if he'll continue to line things up, build towers, be obsessed with certain things. It just amazes me to see the dedication that he brings to these tasks...it just amazes me.
If any of these behaviors lasted for a marked period of time, I probably would contact a professional, but they don't. At this point, I'm pretty sure that if I cleaned up his "picnic blanket," he'd ask where it was, but not freak out that it was gone. He comes through these stages...just like he will so many others. Crazy though, right?