Questions in the Parenting Forum are being answered by doctors from MindWorks. Topics include: Behavioral Issues - Discipline, Emotional Development, Family Issues, Recreation, School Issues, Social Development
After visiting my 6 y.o. grandaughter, I noticed upon completing a sentance, she repeated the last few words of the sentance. This was not done in her normal speaking voice but was done in a whisper. She did not do this all the time, only occassionally. She is a very sensitive girl and has gone through a lot of changes in the last two years.At that time, my son, was diagnosed Manic Depressive Disorder so her and her sister went through a lot of family turmoil before his diagnosis. I don't feel the sisters are exhibiting any signs of the illness. Anyway, can this repeating of words be associated with anything else such as ADHD or OCD?
I am imagining that if your grandson received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, that he has been very disruptive to the household and probably aggressive. It would make sense for a sibling, particularly a younger one, to experience a high level of stress in this situation, though that is great that she is not exhibiting bipolar symptoms.
Children do go through phases of using odd behavior to help themselves cope with their anxiety, though sometimes what looks like strange behavior to adults is just simple things like talking to an imaginary friend or daydreaming. Her behavior sounds like an anxious habit, though it could be troubling enough to her to be a compulsion. If you ask her about it, she may not even realize she is doing it, which would indicate a nervous habit. Is she experiences strong, irresistible urges to repeat words, that would indicate that the behavior has become a compulsion. If she does not like doing it, it and wants to stop that is a good sign, but it does not necessarily mean she can stop without help. I would worry more if she has a fantasy about bad things happening if she does not do it (for example, fearing that someone could die if she does not do it).
If she is made aware of it gently, (no shaming or punishing, that will make it worse) she may be able to stop on her own. If the urge to repeat is something too strong for her to resist or if she has odd ideas about why she must do so, then I would recommend you take her to a psychologist for a consultation. If she is having compulsions, that is a sign of anxiety. The good news is that compulsions respond well to psychotherapy, and even better to a combined approach of therapy and anti-anxiety medication. The psychologist can tell you if she would benefit from having a formal assessment done to learn more about your granddaughter's mood and thinking.
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Thanks for your input. I think there was a misunderstanding. It was my son, her father age 38, who was diagnosed with BP disorder. And, yes the household was disruptive until he got on meds. The household is somewhat back to normal but her and her sister (5) still went through that period before his diagnosis. Does the fact that it was her father change anything?
bipolar disorder is diagnosed through the presence of troubling symptoms that place a high level of stress on all family members. Though I do not know how difficult things have been in the household, most children of parents with BP disorder see confusing or frightening things when their parents are manic, hypomanic or depressed. The same advice regarding her behavior applies. Happy holidays
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