Q: My 5 year old son recently had a cold. Almost immedialely afterwards he has started acting almost like he has OCD. He's never done this before. Now he repeats things to himself, he whispers and he keeps wiping his hand on his shirt. Does OCD just start all at once?

A: Tics and other repetitive behaviors are more common than parents realize. As many as 20 to 30 percent of children exhibit short-term tic-like behavior at some point in childhood. Usually, these behaviors fade on their own -- as long as parents and others don't make a big deal out of them.

But there is another group of children who seem to develop tics immediately after exposure to a type of strep infection. This is a complex determination that must be done by an expert. Of course I can't evaluate or treat your son here, so it's important you bring this to his pediatrician's attention right away. Good luck!

Answered by Dr. Heather Wittenberg