Source : Karen Hollowell , ehow.com
OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) is an anxiety disorder that affects one in one hundred school-aged children, according to OCD Education Station. Children diagnosed with OCD are consumed with unwanted thoughts that result in excessive fear and worry. The only way they can cope with this anxiety is to perform ritual actions. This disorder negatively affects its sufferers emotionally, academically and socially.
- Accommodate students whenever possible. Shorten assignments that require a lot of handwriting. If students are working on an extended project, like a research paper, allow them to turn in components separately. For example, note cards first, outline, then rough draft. This will help students with OCD fight the compulsion to stay up all night attempting to turn in a "perfect" paper.
- Give students notes or an outline summarizing what has been covered in class each day. This may help all your students, but those with OCD will benefit because organizing materials is often difficult for them. They have a hard time determining what papers they need to keep or throw away and usually end up keeping everything. Your brief summaries and/or notes will highlight the most important points they need to remember.
- Utilize alternate testing methods. Use multiple-choice tests or include a word bank for fill-in-the-blank questions. OCD children may spend an excessive amount of time deciding on an answer. Limiting their choices and giving clue words will reduce the anxiety students feel when they are faced with a test, especially one that is timed.
- Recognize the need for students to perform certain ritual actions. Most people associate frequent hand-washing with OCD, but there are many other less-noticeable actions including silently counting to a certain number or staring without blinking for a specific time. If you see an OCD student seemingly daydreaming or talking to himself, take a closer look before you reprimand him. Calling attention to the disorder may cause a child to withdraw socially and academically.