OCD Support and Resources for Children and Young People
Before reading through the following I just want to mention a few important things:
- I've personally used all of the resources and sources of information and support listed below. I've added them to this list because I found them helpful, and as much as I have read a lot about OCD, I'm not a professional. Please keep that in mind.
- Although I love every one of these resources below, I needed to use discretion within that about what I though would benefit a child. For example, there's an activity in one of the books that recommends counting objects as a way of staying present. If I had a child with OCD I wouldn't necessarily use that because counting can be a huge compulsion and I wouldn't want to take the chance of making it worse. Remember you don't need to use the whole book/website, you can just take the bots you like from each and make a tailor made set of resources for your toolbox.
- These books are aimed specifically at supporting family members and/or young people. There are a tonne of other, more general resources available under the 'Contacts and Info' section of my website. Make sure you have a read through of that too, I'm sure you'll find lots of helpful things.
- Some of these resources are aimed at children and some are designed to be used for children alongside an adult. Whatever the resource is, and despite who it is aimed at, please take a good look through it first before sharing it with your young person. One of the books I looked at asked a child to draw a picture of someone telling them off after they'd been misunderstood. This might help some children but definitely not the ones I intended the book for - luckily I caught it before we worked through that page.
- The OCD charities are amazing and have spent years creating wonderful banks of resources and information for those effected by OCD. I would always suggest that you start by trawling through their websites and finding our what practical support and information is available.
OCD Action - be sure to also check out the information/resources page here.
Internation OCD Foundation (IOCDF) - the IOCDF also have an excellent website aimed at supporting children and young people with OCD and anxiety in the school setting. It has sections for students, parents and staff. It's called Anxiety in the Classroom and you can find it here.
Unstuck OCD Kids Movie - This documentary is incredible and that's just the start of this fabulous families advocacy. They campaign tirelessly to help spread awareness and improve the lives of young people with OCD. It's run by Chris Baeir, the father of two daughters - one of whom had OCD. Their facebook page includes interviews with young people with OCD and the girls are amazing, often doing their own advocacy work talking about the sibling role in recovery and also giving a voice to the siblings without OCD, who are having to live alongside the condition too.
A lot of their work includes siblings and how to beat OCD together as a family. They are incredible and wonderful resources.
Natasha Daniels: Anxious toddlers to Anxious Teens - Ignore the website title, this website is for all young people. Natasha hosts a wonderful podcast (I've spotted Chris from Unstuck Kids Movie on there too). It would take all day for me to describe the resources and information on offer here so it'll be worth you just checking it out yourself - its jam-packed with helpful information. Some elements require payment, there are courses available, but the majority of information is free.
IntrusiveThoughts.org - Although this website isn't specifically designed to help children with OCD it does a brilliant job of talking about the 'scarier' parts of intrusive thoughts - the ones people find the most difficult to talk about. Finding out that your child or young person is having obsessional thoughts of a violent or sexual nature can be worrying. This site does a great job of explaining what it is and why it happens.
I'm going to start each section by linking to the charity's websites. They will have fully vetted the books, you can support the charities while shopping and also OCD UK send you a copy of their latest Compulsive Reading Magazine with each purchase of over £10.
So here we go:
The books I've used/read and found helpful are...
These three are part of the same series and are wonderful - aimed at 6-12 year olds.
There are also books on bedtime worries, feeling negative or 'grumpy', anger, and more. Please note most of these books are workbooks so if you want to buy used it would be a good idea to check they haven't been written in.
Dawn Huebner who writes many of these books also writes books for older children. A list of her books are here.
- Standing Up to OCD Workbook for Kids: 40 Activities to Help Children Stop Unwanted Thoughts, Control Compulsive Behaviors, and Overcome Anxiety - Due 26th November 2019. Available for pre order.
- Don't worry be happy - A Child's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety
- You're a star - A Child's Guide to Self Esteem
The OCD Stories run by Stuart Ralph is hands down one of the best resources for those with OCD and their families.
The family often runs through the podcasts but these in particular are very helpful:
Also see Natasha Daniel's podcast and Unstuck: A kids OCD Movie facebook live chats as mentioned above under websites.
Mind Over Matter with Matt Shoebridge. This episode includes Sarah Dobson talking about daughters experience of OCD and how they cope as a family.
Recommended by others:
My Hidden Chimp - Prof Steve Peters. Chimp Paradox but for children.
Books in the Making
Rory Hobble and the Voyage to Halogen. This wonderful books is the creation of the wonderful Max Hawker, a social worker with first hand experince of OCD. This books looks incredible but is still in it's funding stages. If you'd like to help - or read more about it please check out his unbound page here.
As always, if you have any other resources that you found helpful please send me the details and I'll add them.
Lots of love