Signs and Misconceptions of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Children

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a very common, chronic, and long-lasting mental health disorder. People with OCD have uncontrollable and reoccurring thoughts that they feel the urge to repeat over and over. It’s highly unpleasant, but fortunately, obsessive-compulsive disorder can be managed. It’s more common in children than adults, and one of the key things is to detect it as early as possible so it can be adequately managed.

If parents are informed, they can spot signs and symptoms of OCD in children early on. Picking up on subtle signs is not that easy, however, by having a solid understanding of the disorder, spotting irregularities can become easier. In this article, Da Vinci Collaborative will share some of the common signs of OCD, hidden signs of the disease, as well as a few misconceptions about obsessive-compulsive disorder.

What are the common signs and symptoms of OCD in children?

Some telling signs that your child might have OCD include repetitive behaviors, constantly arranging things in their room, fidgeting, asking for reassurance, avoidance, and much, much more.

These are just some of the signs. Unfortunately, things can get more complicated in the mind of a child suffering from OCD. Obsessing over insignificant things, having intrusive and upsetting thoughts, and experiencing extreme feelings of anxiety or discomfort can all happen without anyone else from the outside noticing. Moreover, if you don’t know what clues to look for, OCD can be difficult to detect, but once you do, you’ll be able to approach the situation better.

Before we jump into some of the common signs, it’s important to remember that OCD should only be diagnosed by a licensed professional. If you think your child might exhibit worrying signs of the illness, we advise you to contact a mental health professional. At Da Vinci Collaborative, apart from tutoring, we also engage in mental health services for children, so you can contact us with any questions or concerns.

Some common signs and symptoms of OCD that weren’t mentioned above may include:

  • Long periods of time spent touching things, counting, and thinking about numbers and sequences;
  • Preoccupation with order, symmetry, or exactness;
  • Too much attention to detail;
  • Checking and rechecking a lot;
  • Counting and recounting a lot;
  • Repeating words spoken by oneself or others;
  • Asking the same questions again and again;
  • Grouping objects or putting things in a certain order;

What are some uncommon signs and symptoms of OCD in children?

Most people are familiar with the most common signs of OCD mentioned in the previous section. However, this disorder can come in many different forms. The full range of symptoms is often poorly recognized, and this can also lead your children to be misdiagnosed, or diagnosed late.

Let’s have a look at some of the more uncommon OCD signs:

  • Feeling that you have to have it all figured out, and struggling to do so whenever anything doesn’t make sense;
  • Acting quiet and non-aggressive as possible out of fear of not becoming irritated, agitated, and aggressive;
  • Obsessive slowness;
  • Correcting and “policing others;”
  • Developing strange rituals before doing things;

Common Myths About OCD

Even though there are a lot of symptoms of OCD, you can also stumble upon many myths and misconceptions. For example, if your child is just highly organized, without displaying other signs of OCD, this doesn’t mean they are suffering from this condition.

Let’s see the two most common OCD myths:

  • OCD is about cleanliness – this is false. Your child should always keep a clean space, and as long as they’re not hoarding, checking and rechecking things, and their only fixation is cleanliness, they should be fine.
  • Stress causes OCD – false. OCD is not developed under stressful conditions. Telling people just to relax can’t fix intrusive thoughts or uncontrollable fears either.


OCD can severely impact a child’s development, social and personal lives, as well as their academic journey. It’s very important that obvious symptoms are not ignored, and as parents, it’s our duty to seek professional help for our children. Both therapy and private tutoring can offer better academic and personal development for kids suffering from OCD.

At Da Vinci Collaborative, we work with students every day and help them study with our personalized learning programs. If you’re in need of specialized tutoring for your child, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our teachers can’t wait to meet new students and embark on exciting journeys.

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