Mayo Clinic

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is known to affect young children

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: At what age does obsessive-compulsive disorder typically become noticeable in children? My 7-year-old recently has become very focused on having things straight (e.g., blankets, toy cars and papers) and checking to make sure his stuffed animals are lined up a certain way before he goes to sleep. He even gets up to check them multiple times. Is this typical of a kid his age, or should I have him evaluated?

ANSWER: The behaviors you're seeing in your son could be appropriate forms of play for a child his age. It's possible, however, that they might point to obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, if he feels driven to do them, or if doing these routines interferes...