Saturday, January 26, 2013

One Purple Marker

Do other kids with Down Syndrome show tendencies toward OCD?

A few years ago Beth was collecting hoarding water bottles. Back when plastic water bottles were popular we'd buy them by the case at Costco. Beth would never throw them away. They'd be half full, partially full, empty and she'd put them around her room, on her bed, on the floor. She'd have dozens of them and no matter how often I'd go in to throw them away, she'd get more. It bothered her when they weren't there.

Then, without warning she stopped collecting water bottles and started on batteries. Those scared me. If a battery leaks, that acid is dangerous. She'd have so many batteries all over her room! In baggies, in drawers. She was always buying them and when we told her she couldn't she'd get so mad.

Eventually the battery thing ended and now... it's markers. Although I must say, she's not collecting them, she's just very... obsessed with them. She has to have a certain brand and style of marker. Even if one begins to dry slightly, she buys a whole new package and throws the old package away. Even if all the other markers work fine! She spends SO much money on markers!

Today she brought up her jar of coins and said she wanted to count them so she could walk to Bartells and buy new markers. Considering she just bought new markers last week, I went downstairs and she showed me one purple marker. She took the tip off in her hand and said, "It's broken." I was able to put the tip back in and pressed hard on it. It stayed fine. I tried it a few times and it worked perfectly.

I tried all the other markers and they were fine. I told her she was gonna have to use those markers because she doesn't get paid until next week. I put all the markers back in the box and explained that because she didn't have a job, she was gonna have to make these work. I told her that my hours have been cut at work and I'm not making as much money either so dad and I are having to cut back on things too. That's what you have to do when you're not working.

I don't think she was listening though because she had taken the markers back out of the box and was putting them back in the right way. The black one first, then the red....  


Caz said...

Well, markers sound more appealing and easier to store than water bottles or batteries so maybe things will keep getting easier? Hope so....

EN said...

Yes, this is very common in adults with Down syndrome. Leanne obsesses over brushing her teeth and hoards tic tacs, breath strips, breath spray, etc...She also collects crossword/word search puzzle books and then hoards the completed books. Every once in awhile, my mom goes through and cleans out her stuff while she's away and it's WWIII when she returns. If you feel like it's really getting bad, it can be treated with medication and behavioral modification therapy.