Find out your parenting style with my parent personality quiz!

Find out your parenting style with my parent personality quiz!

COURSE LOGIN

Ask Dr. Meg: Does my daughter have OCD or a sensory disorder?

Picture of Dr. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker

Hi Dr. Meeker,

I am hoping you can give me some direction with my 10-year-old daughter, Lily. When she was 5 years old, she was exhibiting sensory integration issues to the point that we almost couldn’t leave the house. I wanted to take her to an occupational therapist but at the time we couldn’t afford this, so I turned to some self-help books and felt with time, the issues were getting better. Things have been fine the last 4 years until recently, she has become obsessed with her weight and appearance. She is trying to spend hours in from of the mirror and looking down at her stomach and thighs so frequently it almost looks like she has a tic. She is very repetitive with brushing her hair, ironing her clothes, checking her pants, etc. It seems a little OCD, and she exhibited repetitive behavior like this 5 years ago but in other ways. It makes me wonder if this obsessive concern about her weight is linked more to her sensory problems instead of an eating disorder. I’m not sure if I should take her to an eating disorder therapist, or an occupational therapist. I thought that she would grow out of her sensory integration issues but have since read an article saying this is not something someone ‘outgrows’. I want to get her help but have no idea where to start. Any suggestions and insight would be so greatly appreciated!!

Thank you for your time!

– Concerned Mother

Dear Concerned Mother,

I think that your evaluation of your daughter is correct, but I think that several things may be going on. If she really has repetitive behaviors, this points more toward obsessive-compulsive disorder and this can be treated. An occupational therapist is not the one to treat her. I would start with her pediatrician and tell him/her what you have told me. She will need some cognitive behavioral therapy by a good therapist and if she feels really out of control, she may need a little medication.

Second, until you help her get the OCD under control, it’s hard to tell if she really has an eating disorder. When kids have OCD, they can obsess over anything. They may not care about what they are obsessing about but that is the one thing they have latched onto. I have seen kids obsess about reading a chapter 10-15 times before bedtime, but they really don’t like reading. I have had kids repeatedly change their clothes or wash their faces but they really don’t care about how they look. OCD rears its head in many ways.

So, make an appointment with your pediatrician first. He/she will help you tease these issues apart and refer you to the right person to treat her. Taking her to an eating disorder specialist or occupational therapist may well be a waste of your time.

Our Sponsors

Skylight-Meeker

Skylight Digital Picture Frames are the perfect bridge connecting you to the special moments of those you love! It’s private, pre-loadable, and you can personalize it! Visit SkylightFrame.com

Think Like An Engineer! Welcome to your least boring summer ever! Join us in a 12-week virtual summer camp featuring weekly videos, livestreams and mega-experiments from Mark Rober and special guests.

That’s why you’ve got to check out AquaTru.

AquaTru purifiers use a 4-stage reverse osmosis purification process, and their countertop purifiers work with NO installation or plumbing.

Transform Your Tap Water

Air Doctor

Air Doctor, purification to protect your home! Head to airdoctorpro.com and use promo code DRMEG and you’ll receive UP TO $300 off air purifiers!

Cozy Earth
Our goal is to help you create a sanctuary within your home, a refuge from the demands of the outside world.

Head over to cozyearth.com and use promo code DRMEG for an exclusive 35% off.

Acorns makes it easy to start automatically saving and investing for your future. Head to acorns.com/ or download the Acorns app to start saving and investing for your future today!

Your pet can’t choose healthy, but you can! Choose Whole Life Pet for human grade, freeze-dried, nutrient-rich, all natural food and treats for your dog or cat!

Visit wholelifepet.com

Born Shoes

Step into comfort by visiting BornShoes.com and take advantage of our exclusive offer. Use promo code DRMEG to enjoy a 15% discount and receive free ground shipping on all full-price shoes.

Green-chef-Meeker
The #1 Meal Kit for Eating well. Go to greenchef.com/60drmeg and use code 60drmeg to get 60% off plus 20% off your next two months.  greenchef.com to start now! 
Masimo-stork-baby-monitor

Masimo Stork is a revolutionary new baby monitor. SET technology has been in use for 25 years in the NICU units of America’s hospitals – now that same technology is available at home. Masimo Stork tracks real time, with your baby’s pulse rate, oxygen saturation, and skin temperature. While not a medical device, it can ensure more confident and calmer parenting. To learn more, go to masimostork.com.

Sponsors

Skylight-Meeker

Skylight Digital Picture Frames are the perfect bridge connecting you to the special moments of those you love! It’s private, pre-loadable, and you can personalize it! Visit SkylightFrame.com

Crunch-Labs-Meeker

Here’s the perfect gift to inspire and delight that young person in your life! The CrunchLabs build box subscription. Crunchlabs packs the fun into science by sending kids a new toy to build each month. And everyone’s favorite youtuber Mark Rober’s teaches them how! Kids LOVE IT! Go to Crunchlabs.com/DrMeg and get yours today!

Powerful purification to protect your home

Lock this special offer by going to A-I-R-D-O-C-T-O-R-P-R-O dot com and use promo code DRMEG.

Discover luxury she deserves!

Head over to cozyearth.com and use promo code DRMEG for an exclusive 35% off.

Save, invest and learn from one easy app.

Visit acorns.com

Your pet can’t choose healthy, but you can! Choose Whole Life Pet for human grade, freeze-dried, nutrient-rich, all natural food and treats for your dog or cat!

Visit wholelifepet.com

Step into comfort by visiting BornShoes.com and take advantage of our exclusive offer. Use promo code DRMEG to enjoy a 15% discount and receive free ground shipping on all full-price shoes.

Green-chef-Meeker
The #1 Meal Kit for Eating well. Go to greenchef.com/60drmeg and use code 60drmeg to get 60% off plus 20% off your next two months.  greenchef.com to start now! 
Masimo-stork-baby-monitor

Masimo Stork is a revolutionary new baby monitor. SET technology has been in use for 25 years in the NICU units of America’s hospitals – now that same technology is available at home. Masimo Stork tracks real time, with your baby’s pulse rate, oxygen saturation, and skin temperature. While not a medical device, it can ensure more confident and calmer parenting. To learn more, go to masimostork.com.

More Posts

Sponsors

Skylight Digital Picture Frames are the perfect bridge connecting you to the special moments of those you love!

Here’s the perfect gift to inspire and delight that young person in your life! The CrunchLabs build box subscription.

Your pet can’t choose healthy, but you can! Choose Whole Life Pet for human grade, freeze-dried, nutrient-rich, all natural food and treats for your dog or cat!

Masimo Stork is a revolutionary new baby monitor. SET technology has been in use for 25 years in the NICU units of America’s hospitals.

The #1 Meal Kit for Eating well. Go to greenchef.com/60drmeg and use code 60drmeg to get 60% off plus 20% off your next two months.  

Thrive Market – the customized and economical way to shop organic, non-gmo, and healthy.

Website-Dr. Meeker (8)
Feeling a a bit uneasy about having "the talk" with your son or daughter?
Dr. Meeker is here to help! “How to Talk to Your Kids about Puberty & Sex (ages 8-18)” is her most comprehensive course ever and she’ll equip you to have that conversation with knowledge, confidence and sensitivity. Check it out!

More Tools to Simplify Fatherhood