OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder is a behavioral issue that affects up to 3 percent of children according to the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. As you learn more about autism in children, you may find that there is a correlation between this developmental condition and OCD. You’ll learn more about how to treat OCD features in autism spectrum disorder patients when you visit Melanie DeNardo, APN, and the pediatric team at Developmental Pediatrics of Central Jersey, in Ocean, NJ.

What Is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can be characterized by an intense need for order, repetition and ritualistic behavior. Patients with OCD may have symptoms that range from needing to carry a certain item with them everywhere they go (even in inappropriate situations) or counting actions (like touching a faucet a certain number of times before continuing with their day). Experts believe that it may be related to anxiety or fear of bad luck if they don’t complete specific actions.

OCD and Autism Spectrum Disorder

OCD symptoms commonly begin to show up in children at a very young age and may be linked to other behavioral issues, like autism spectrum disorder. Children who are diagnosed with autism may have problems with relationships and relating with others, learning in school, and general communication. They also sometimes show a predisposition to repetitive and obsessive behaviors related to OCD, like saying the same phrases until they feel comfortable or safe.

Treatment Options for Autistic Patients with OCD

When a patient is diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder and also displays symptoms of OCD, there are a number of treatment options you’ll discuss with your Ocean, NJ, medical practitioner including:

  • Initial observation and evaluation of the child’s actions and behaviors during a neurological assessment.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy with an exposure and response prevention (ERP) professional.
  • Medication targeted to treat neurological disorders.
  • Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

Treating OCD and Autism

At Developmental Pediatrics of Central Jersey, in Ocean, NJ, you can consult with Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Melanie DeNardo, APN about OCD and how it relates to autism spectrum disorder in patients. Call (732) 660-0220 today to schedule a consultation and evaluation for your child.

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