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Inpatient program at Rogers memorial hospital


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There are some doctors leaving with Storch. They are leaving Rothman at the end of July, but the new facility won't be taking new patients until October from what I understand. My daughter's therapist Dr. Nadeau is making the move - that's how I found out about it. The new facility is in Tampa, just over the bridge from St. Pete, not too far from the airport. Closer for us, as we are in the Tampa area. (hoping we don't have a major set back before they start taking patients because my daughter doesn't want anything to do with anyone other than Dr. Josh!!)

 

We have been very lucky with most of the therapists assigned to us, there was only one that we didn't really connect with and we requested a new one and didn't stick with her.

 

We started CBT with my son before he even turned 3, and have done it off and on with both kids since. Most recently, my daughter was experiencing a mild flare from allergies (intrusive thoughts) and ASKED to go see Dr. Josh at the worst of it - so it has been very helpful for us.

 

But even when we started, which was when my son was at his worst and we were still trying to get a handle on the medical side, we found it very helpful for other reasons - mostly because it helped us as parents learn what we should and shouldn't be doing along the way. Typical parenting techniques don't always work with our kids, and the therapists were able to help us navigate some of the issues like discipline, enabling the OCD (with a toddler, most of his rituals were things WE had to do in a specific way...but we didn't know what that way was...talk about a nightmare!) And even more so - it gave my kids a vocabulary to use to help them communicate when things were bothering them.

 

Our son's first therapist encouraged us to give the OCD a name, partly so my son could have a way to communicate about the OCD, but also so we could separate his actions from "Harvey's" actions - he's not a bad kid, but Harvey makes him do things that are bad sometimes (like trying to kill someone because his food isn't lined up properly). 4+ years later and both kids use the Harvey moniker now. (Funny story, we had to explain to his K teacher this year who "Harvey" was so if he told her Harvey was bothering him she would understand and not think he's certifiable. He had a huge meltdown in class one day - turns out the kid next to him had strep - and after I picked him up, some of the kids were asking if he was okay. With my previous permission, she explained a bit about PANDAS and how it makes some things hard for him and all about Harvey - I got multiple calls from my sons friends moms freaking out because they thought I would be livid that the teacher was telling kids my son had a "little friend in his head" and was crazy - until I explained to them that that was how our son came to understand about his OCD at such a young age...we still get a good laugh about that. And the teacher did an EXCELLENT job explaining it.)

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I'll also add that having done CBT when new flares come up, while it doesn't eliminate the OCD, it makes it much more manageable. My kids both tested positive for strep about 2 weeks ago, and while we have had some bumps in the road, they have remained functional and the resulting flare no longer controls our entire household like it used to. They were still able to participate in VBS, play with friends, and my daughter even went to a sleep over last night (she has bad separation anxiety). And it's a good part a result of them knowing and using some of their CBT tricks and us knowing how to respond properly.

 

For example, my son's separation anxiety spiked with this infection and for the first time in years, he started being afraid to leave the room alone even to go to the bathroom. After a couple of days we realized how severe it was, and started implementing some of our tricks and language. He would ask me to go to the bathroom with him, I would ask "why", his answer "I'm afraid to be alone". My response "Are you afraid to be alone, or is Harvey afraid to be alone". No answer (which means it's Harvey and my son knows what comes next...hoping if he doesn't answer I won't say it). My response "I thought so, and you know that Mommy doesn't have to listen to Harvey. So I'm not going to go with you into the bathroom. What do you think will happen if you go in there alone? - and here I would ask him a series of rhetorical, increasingly silly hypothetical situations that might happen alone in the bathroom - the sillier the better". Ultimately we find a solution to him being able to go on his own. It might be leaving the door open, or my talking to him from the kitchen while he's in there, or even taking one of the dogs in with him! But we hold firm and don't just give in - even though it's much easier.

 

This wouldn't be possible in the midst of a flare if we hadn't already laid down the foundation through CBT.

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The OCD Institute at McLean's in Belmont, MA is opening a Children's and Adolescent program in the Fall. The OCI Institute is amazing. As most of you know, Dr. Jenike and Diane Davey run it. I waited years until my son turned 16 to get him into the adult program. They were the final piece of the puzzle to my son's recovery. I wish they had a child/adolescent program when DS was younger.

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