Understanding obsessiveness and rigid thinking from an Occupational Therapy perspective:
I struggle with a sense of understanding about my body – I struggle with a sense of understanding of how to communicate about my body – I know how to communicate because in general I ‘can’ and do ask for and receive things, so I ‘have’ worked out a process for how to interact with someone else.
Do I use this same process with everyone? Or are there differences in how I ‘know’ I can work with one person compared to another?
I say that I can’t do it. I can’t do it. Did you hear me? More importantly – did ‘you’ understand what I said? Also more importantly, do you let me stop what I am doing because you listened to what I said and decided that it ‘was’ important?
One of the challenges of working with active day to day events is that there are activities that have set parameters about how they are supposed to be done, i.e. do these steps and achieve this result, and then, there are activities which don’t have set parameters, where there can be a bad way of doing or a good way or an incredibly successful way at doing it. So one of the challenges that comes in is when there are repeated conversations over multiple environments to multiple people about actions that are being described as obsessive compulsive by others, the query becomes is it obsessive or again, is there an issue that is not being managed that is an extended very long conversation over a very long period of time (i.e. a running conversation, it started way back when and is still going, can be over months or years) – has a solution be found? What are the expectations that one person has about how something has to be done compared to how another person has said that it has to be done? Who is right? In working with those with Autism Spectrum Disorder there is the concept of ‘good enough’. It is subjective. Good enough for who? For you? For me? For a teacher? For that teacher? For last years teacher? For next years teacher? For that person in the shopping centre that just stared me down? For that soccer coach? For that swimming teacher? Why the emphasis? When does a sequence of steps become something that is used competitively for a different level of outcomes.