Tics - please tell me about your dc's. Please tell me they're ok!

(15 Posts)
bundleofnerves Wed 25-Jun-14 19:30:29

I've posted in behaviour and development, but posting here too because I feel so desperate and wonder if this is the right age group? My dd who's 7 has tics which seem to be getting worse. I'm terrified. Does anyone have a dc who has or has had tics but is otherwise ok? I'm particularly worried about her developing ocd. I'd be very very grateful for any answers!

ouryve Wed 25-Jun-14 19:33:33

Tics aren't uncommon in older primary age children. I had them from about 9-12.

Have you any reason to suspect that she may develop OCD? ignoring the tics, does she display any worrying behaviours?

ouryve Wed 25-Jun-14 19:35:20

Also - it goes without saying that it's worth ruling out physical reasons for the tics. If she has blinking tics, then have her eyes tested. If they're throat tics, does she have allergies which are bothering her?

threedaystogo Wed 25-Jun-14 20:03:51

Hi there. First of all, don't panic! Lots of DCs have tics at some point or another and most of them grow out of them. In fact, most of them grow out of them within a few months. I know it's really hard, but the best thing is to ignore them as much as possible - if your DD senses you are stressed about it, that could make her more anxious which will make the tics worse.

My DS was 5 when he started to get really bad motor and vocal tics (i.e. things he did with his body/face, as well as things he did with his voice.) After a year of ignoring them, I went to the GP who referred him to a consultant who checked for any medical reasons. (There were none). He was then seen by a psychiatrist, who reassured us that most DCs grow out of them & suggested methods to distract / suppress them.

The tics were definitely at their worst between the ages of 7 and 11: they seemed to take over his life and it was incredibly distressing to watch a lot of the time. It was really difficult to stay upbeat and to not let it affect DS' self-esteem, but I think this is really important. Funnily enough, most friends / other children did not seem to notice or make a big deal of it; as parents we notice much more than other people I think.

DS is now a teenager & over the past year they have just faded away. I never thought they would stop, but they have! He occasionally blinks fast with one eye, but that's it. No big deal at all.

(PS - If you want more traffic, you might want to post on the SN board. There will be lots of parents there with experience of tic disorder / Tourettes).

DS2 has verbal tics. When he was young they tended to be worse when he was tired. As he's got older they now only show up when he is tired. At 14 he's also a lot more aware of when he's doing it and can 'control' it better. To my shame though we've never actually had them investigated - they've just been one of his quirks and by the time I thought that maybe we should have done, he was old enough that I worried it would be worse to draw attention to them.

bundleofnerves Wed 25-Jun-14 20:21:18

threedaystogo thanks for your story. Glad to hear your ds's tics have mostly stopped. Did he have any other problems with them, or was it just the tics?
ouryve thanks. At the moment she isn't doing anything else that worrying, but I sense she is maybe starting to get a bit ocd e.g. she seems to have this compulsion to read any writing she sees.

bundleofnerves Wed 25-Jun-14 20:23:56

mrsdimitri:thanks. Can I ask you the same question - did your ds have any other problems?

Not so much now but when he was younger, a bit. He had issues with food for a while, he came across as incredibly fussy but it was more complex than that. He had problems with the texture and feel of certain foods rather than the taste. He was under a SALT during Reception and Yr1 (arranged by his school) , and he was also assessed for Dyslexia in Yr2 as he was so far behind and struggled so much in school. However by the time he left Primary school he caught up to such an extent that he was in the top stream for Maths and English (I cried all over his teacher when I found out!) He's still a pita when it comes to food, but not to any degree that stops us eating out, or limits him in anyway.

bundleofnerves Wed 25-Jun-14 23:52:20

Thanks. The eating problem doesn't sound too bad in the scheme of things and well done him for doing so well at school.

threedaystogo Thu 26-Jun-14 09:13:01

DS has dyspraxia, vision problems, developmental coordination disorder, sensory processing disorder and organisational difficulties as well as the tic disorder. (It looks serious when written down like that, but if you met him you'd see a highly intelligent, funny child with lots of friends.)

A lot of what he does can look like Aspergers, but he was investigated for that and it was ruled out. DS has had a few different obsessions over the years. Like your DD, he is obsessed with reading. I would say that if you are going to be obsessed about something, let it be reading! Other people are much more accepting of children reading than they would be if it were something else. When DS walks down the street with (literally) a book in each hand, reading both of them, and bumping into various people as he goes, people are pretty accepting of it. We get comments like "isn't it wonderful to be so engrossed in a book?" I don't think people would be so happy if he were obsessed with a computer game etc. Our only problem with it, is finding enough books for DS to read as he can easily go through 10 or more a week.

TheFirstOfHerName Thu 26-Jun-14 09:17:10

DS1 had tics from the age of 8ish to about 12. Shrugging, blinking etc.

DD has had a throat-clearing tic on and off for a couple of years. She is nearly ten.

Anxiety and stress make them worse.

bundleofnerves Thu 26-Jun-14 16:46:29

Did they have other problems, TheFirstofherName?

bundleofnerves Thu 26-Jun-14 16:56:16

threedaystogo I'm sure your ds is lovely. It can come across wrong when you are hoping your child doesn't have issues and someone's does have some - like you are implying you don't want your child to be like theirs. I don't mean it like that. It's just that this is all very difficult for me because of a particular back story - I think I've caused my dd's problems.

TheFirstOfHerName Thu 26-Jun-14 22:19:38

DS1 has anxiety and is unfortunately starting to develop some traits of OCD.

DD has had to deal with a major life trauma, so that could be related.

shadypines Fri 27-Jun-14 19:05:37

Hi Bundle I can understand how stressed you are about it, I felt the same when my DS had tics from the age of about 10 to 13 ish, one would last a few months ( eg hand shaking/waving) and then be replaced by something else. Looking back I'm not sure if it was the stress of the transition to high school but anyway he's 15 now and doesn't have any. Try not to worry too much and keep looking out for advice here. Take care.

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