Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

7yr old with tics. Tourettes??

(18 Posts)
jogalong Tue 27-Aug-13 18:45:28

My 7yr old Ds has lots of different tics over the last year. They vary on a weeks basis. One week its shoulders , then the next it could be head movement. He has no vocal tics.
It all started last year and there was a lot of stress in the house. Ds2 was refered to the early intervention service for assessment of autisim (for which we still are waiting on psychologist) so as you can imagine i was very upset and stressed out dealing with this. Also Ds1 can moved into a new class in school and wasn't too fond of the teacher. We got a new childminder in the house so there was a lot happening.
Unfortunately when a lot of the stress settled down the tics continued. Gp was not too interested and said he'll grow out of them. Im very worried about him going back to school because anxiety seems to exacerbate them.
Any advice or experience of this would be greatly appreciated. Would love to know what to do to help my Ds. Thanks

mrsbaffled Wed 28-Aug-13 09:18:52

Lots of children have tics that are nothing to worry about.
For it to be Tourette's there must have been motor tics for at least a year and at least one vocal tic in that time. There must not have been a gap of three months in the tics.

By your description it is not TS, but I suppose it could become so over time if he develops a vocal tic.

My DS is 5 and was dx at Easter this year.

jogalong Wed 28-Aug-13 18:50:39

Thanks so much for your reply.
Is there any treatment?? Or what are you doing to help your son manage his tourettes?
Thanks again

mrsbaffled Wed 28-Aug-13 22:36:59

Fortunately his seems mild at the moment. The problem is anything could happen lol! It could just go away completely (50% 'grow out of it' by adulthood) or get worse, then better, then worse etc. Stress and excitement exacerbate it.

There are medicines to limit tics, but would rather not use them if possible. And these are only advocated in severe cases. My dad has TS as well and he has never had any treatment. He has achieved everything he ever wanted too.

The neurologist we saw said that it isn't usually the tics that cause the problems with TS, but the associated conditions. DS has OCD with it. If that gets bad, then he can access CBT. A lot of children with TS also have ADHD....DS certainly has traits too.

Personally, I am ok with his dx. (His brother has suspected AS and that is an entirely different story....). As I say the tics aren't a problem at the moment. They are there, but no one has commented on them yet in a negative way. Sometimes they make writing etc hard, and we will deal with it if life gets harder.

By the way TS is very common. They reckon 1 in 100 children have it. It isn't usually as severe as portrayed on the TV. They only show the really extreme cases. The majority of cases aren't nearly as bad. There are plenty of people in the population who have it and don't even realise.

mrsbaffled Wed 28-Aug-13 22:38:20

Oh, we were told to ignore tics. Tics are suggestible, so highlighting a movement usually makes it worse, more frequent or makes the duration of the tic longer.

PJ67 Wed 28-Aug-13 22:42:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jogalong Thu 29-Aug-13 18:38:42

Thanks for all the replies and advice. It can be difficult to watch your child with all these tics and know there prob is not a whole lot you can do for him. Its difficult to stop yourself giving out to him sometimes too esp when they are quiet bad.
Sometimes my Ds cries over his tics sayin he can't help it.
Reassuring to hear some of you say you kids tics stopped after a while.
Good to know we're not the only ones!

jogalong Thu 29-Aug-13 18:39:11

Thanks for all the replies and advice. It can be difficult to watch your child with all these tics and know there prob is not a whole lot you can do for him. Its difficult to stop yourself giving out to him sometimes too esp when they are quiet bad.
Sometimes my Ds cries over his tics sayin he can't help it.
Reassuring to hear some of you say you kids tics stopped after a while.
Good to know we're not the only ones!

Rosesarebeautiful Thu 29-Aug-13 20:46:27

Two of mine do have Tourettes and have to be on medication as it's so severe in them. The medication helps significantly and they don't have side effects - so I'm ok with it.
The neurologist is right in saying the associated symptoms are worse than the tics. Both of mine have exhibited features of anxiety, obsessional behaviour, and my daughter has rage at times. You can get psychological help for those features - but it depends where you live.

I've found it best to read up on Tourettes - and try to understand how it feels for them. I think a tic must feel a bit like your brain has an itch it needs to scratch.

They are very suggestible - dont give them ideas- if he pokes at his eyes say 'take your hand away', not 'don't poke your eyes'

If they're occupied, then they tend to tic less. My DS loves the Diablo. Music and sport are often good.

Educate the school- they should understand. Be prepared for people not to understand- we still have relatives that are unhelpful.

I believe many children can recover. I also understand that one of the good prognostic features is supportive parents.

Rosesarebeautiful Thu 29-Aug-13 20:55:48

On a slightly fun note- Tim Howard - Everton Goalkeeper does have Tourette's (you could always say just tics). Your DS might like to see some footage of him play. He scored some fantastic goal which you can find on the Internet.

I think it's important to focus on the positive and try not to worry too much.

Trigglesx Thu 29-Aug-13 23:42:51

Ds1 is 7yo and has ADHD/ASD and has had tics over the last 2+ years. We spoke to the paed about it a couple times, and so far we're just watching them to see. They decreased a fair bit when he was moved from MS to SS, so I suspect they were exacerbated by stress. He is coping with them at the present time, so we're alright with just monitoring it. Hopefully as he gets older and develops more coping skills, they will lessen. If not, we'll address it at that time.

claw2 Fri 30-Aug-13 09:07:47

Ds is 9 and has had various tics over the years, they come and go. Some seem to be anxiety related, some sensory or a combination of the both. Sometimes what starts off as anxiety or sensory related tic, can become a habit.

Ds has had a shoulder shrug, a head shake, one where he pulled his finger across his chin every few seconds and vocal tics of clearing his throat every few seconds or making noises.

I have ignored the behaviour and not drawn attention to it, then tried to work out the cause of the behaviour ie anxiety, sensory etc. Then tried to reduce the anxiety or lower/heighten sensory experiences or break the habit.

Rosesarebeautiful Sat 31-Aug-13 23:00:26

Tics and habits are not the same thing

PJ67 Sat 31-Aug-13 23:43:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rosesarebeautiful Sun 01-Sep-13 09:19:14

They're both on Risperidone 1mg.
There are other drugs available - I don't knowing about them. None of them are used lightly in children.

My two are on them because both their motor and vocal ticcing was continuous and devastating to their health. It was a very easy decision to make. With both of my kids Tourettes came on very suddenly as they went into adolescence.

The pair of them do still tic every day- I've been told the drugs only reduce it by 30%. But their current level of ticcing is something we can all live with. Apparently the drugs help them suppress better - so anyone that meets them in public doesn't even realise they have Tourettes.

They definitely haven't lost their spark. I would say if that happens the dose must be too high. There is a dose range, and I would rather have tics than sedate my child.

Both of mine are doing well academically and athletically (!). They are both musical - esp my DS. They have to pace themselves - Tourettes is exhausting & even appearing normal takes energy.

For yourself, I don't think medicines should be started lightly, but I don't think you should be afraid of them either.

Rosesarebeautiful Sun 01-Sep-13 09:27:45

I should say- both of them do tic on school- but wouldn't be able to be there at all without Risperidone

Something they find very difficult in school is the end of term celebrations - where everyone gathers in the assembly hall. They both feel they must be normal then - so as not to spoil it.

I always get them to ask to be at the end of a row, or at the back - just having an escape route can help them cope

claw2 Mon 02-Sep-13 08:45:20

Tics and habits are not the same thing, I said a tic can become a habit.

Ds for example sensory/anxiety in a school environment and the tic of drawing his finger across his chin every few seconds, causing sores. Once school was removed and he was in a much more relaxed environment, the tic continued.

The tic stopped once I gave him something else to do with hands.

I have found what often starts as one behaviour, can turn into another behaviour

jogalong Thu 05-Sep-13 09:40:32

Ds was crying last night because a boy at school asked him why he keeps doing the movements he does. I felt so bad for Ds. He tells me he just can't help it.
Did anyone go down the road of a therapist that deals with childhood anxiety?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now