Provider Guide: Six Questions to Evaluate for the Presence of OCD

The answers should be based on a continuum of 1 – 10 (as opposed to "yes" or "no") since these are commonly observed in many children who are trying to cope with uncertainty:


  1. Does your child have difficulty being flexible when playing with other children?  Does he or she stop playing a game because it is more important that that the rule of the game be rigidly adhered to when his or her friends want to be "creative" about them?

  2. Does he or she demand that you perform behaviors (rituals) that are out of context or seems "magical" in specific situations?  Do you notice any "magical" behaviors (rituals) that seem to make your child less anxious at that moment?

  3. Does your child pay excessive attention to detail at the expense of accomplishing the task at hand?

  4. Does your child seem to be fussy about cleanliness, orderliness, avoid using or sharing toys because he or she is afraid it will become ruined?

  5. Does your child repeatedly ask you to answer the same questions, sometimes with the exact with the exact same words, and cannot move on until you answer them?

  6. Do anxiety disorders run in the family (what kind)?



Note from CEHL founder, Dr. Howard King:

This rating system is not meant to be a scientific way of assessing children with this condition.Instead, pediatricians may wish to use it as a baseline relative to what may occur in the future.In that way, the parent and pediatrician might observe how children progress over time, hopefully, from some therapeutic intervention.

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I would like to thank the following for their generous support, without whom this web site and training program would not exist: The Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Foundation, The Alden Trust, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Project INTERFACE (Newton Public Schools and the U.S. Department of Education), the Locke Educational Fund at Newton- Wellesley Hospital, Aetna Health Plan, the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center,  and the families of my medical practice. 

I hope you find this site useful and encourage any comments.

- Dr. Howard King, M.D.