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Getting annoyed with son's ticks/habits

(51 Posts)
Littleredhouse Wed 07-Sep-16 14:12:30

My 4 year old recently has started compulsively clearing his throat, snorting and making an odd noise in the back of his throat. He doesn't do it all the time but will go through phases (maybe 30 minutes at a time) of doing it constantly. It's so irritating and obviously I want him to stop asap, especially as he's recently started school. I don't want the other kids noticing and teasing him.

A friend's child has some very noticable ticks a while ago and she was advised by the specialist that while there was nothing wrong, they shouldn't bring attention to it as it could make it worse. The child stopped by himself a little while after.

I try not to say anything to my son but a couple of times I got irritated and told him to stop as it was annoying. He is able to stop when needed (eg the promise of an ice-cream).

Should I ignore it and hope he stops of his own volition? Or aibu to tell him to stop it every time? About a year ago he started having an eye twitch which we got checked out - his eyesight was fine and he stopped after a couple of months.

(I don't know if 'ticks' is the right word as they are not out of his control but wasn't sure how else to describe them).

Katinkka Wed 07-Sep-16 14:28:36

Ignore your son's tics. Poor sod. You're making it worse!

My youngest was the same and he grew out of it. Also had him seen by a neurologist.

Disabrie22 Wed 07-Sep-16 14:36:35

Sometimes tics can be a sign of OCD or autism? It's worth having a chat with your doctor - I wouldn't tell him off though unless they are dramatically unsocial or hurting him?

Disabrie22 Wed 07-Sep-16 14:37:12

I've seen quite a few in young children and they do seem to get less depending on what the child needs

Zippydoodah Wed 07-Sep-16 14:40:45

're the throat, could it be asthma? My son was doing this then he developed a cough and shortness of breath when he was diagnosed

1pink4blue Wed 07-Sep-16 16:11:30

my eldest 2 ds developed tics at about 7/8 the eldest kept opening his mouth wide like a yawn all the time he told me it felt like he had itching in his mouth and he taught himself how to stop doing it.
ds2 used to sniff all the time it drove me mad and one day it just stopped.
they are 17 and 18 now and they havent done it in about or 6 years.
ds3 is 10 and never had a tic

humblesims Wed 07-Sep-16 16:28:25

my eldest DS was the same as pinks with the yawn thing and other random facial tics and as others have said they will usually grow out of it. Mine also had a habit of pinching the skin on his neck or cheek.
Its very tempting to try and stop them but I think the advice is to not draw attention too much. They cant help it and making it into a 'thing' is not a good idea

Gottagetmoving Wed 07-Sep-16 16:34:09

He could have nasal polyps.
I used to make a grunt sound and a clicking in my throat unit I was 4 yrs old because of a huge poIyp . I would get it checked out and if there is no physical cause ignore it.

MissElizaBennettsBookmark Wed 07-Sep-16 16:39:29

My DD did that. Turned out to be a 'drippy sinus' - she needed antibiotics.

Littleredhouse Wed 07-Sep-16 18:13:15

I'll get it checked out to make sure there isn't a medical reason like the ones people have described. If nothing medical (which I suspect), then I'm just going to have to bite my tongue and hope they disappear soon. I'm not the patient person so it will be an exercise in tolerance!

EarthboundMisfit Wed 07-Sep-16 18:18:21

See your GP, there might be an underlying cause.

Milzilla Wed 07-Sep-16 18:22:19

I have this - started when I was maybe seven. Sounds like a vocal tic to me.
My family constantly told me off - trying to suppress them made it worse.

Take him to a GP and don't tell him off.

I still have my tics 30 yr later but they're not as bad...

zoobeedoo Wed 07-Sep-16 18:31:36

Same! Son now nearly ten, we have had the full range. Throat clearing, fake coughs, mmm mmm mmmm noises, blinking, face stretching, finger pulling, tapping, putting weird things in his mouth, hand licking....... List goes on. He grows out of each one then starts a new one. I'm quite blunt with him, i tell him he is making an annoying noise or doing something weird and he then realises and works himself out of the habit over a few months. Had him assessed as he is an oddball in a number of ways and he could be on the spectrum but manages very well so I didn't push for diagnosis. It IS annoying, I totally sympathise with you. I have noticed he gets worse at times of stress or if he is anxious about something. His p4 year at school was really bad because his teacher was not great and stressed him out massively so there were a lot of tics going on, but it seems to come and go. I got really worried about it at one point and especially about other kids picking on him, but I think so many kids go through this phase and no one ever said anything to him about it. They more teased him for randomly bursting into song in the classroom at inappropriate times and dancing to music in his head.... But he is a bit of a clown and turned it to his advantage. I'm sure your boy will grow out of it. Mine is a lot better now.

YourNewspaperIsShit Wed 07-Sep-16 18:34:46

I have simililar ones I make a "tsch" sound as well, I'm autistic so great to hear that you're getting it checked out just in case but often they go away on their own if there's no underlying cause smile

Prometheus Wed 07-Sep-16 18:36:05

Same here. Son is 6 and for the past year has had a variety of ticks that last about 4 months before being replaced with something else. We've had the stretching mouth, clearing his throat and now he makes a kind of clicking noise and smacks his lips. It drives me absolutely insane and I get worried about his friends noticing as well. I have OCD (under control) so am very conscious of these things and worry that he won't grow out of them.

TheresAJaffaCakeInMyPocket Wed 07-Sep-16 18:39:37

Do just try to ignore. My son has asd and has loads of tics

Elfieselfie Wed 07-Sep-16 18:40:24

Mine has had constant throat clearing for about a year, some days it several times a minute, other days less so. GP told us to ignore as seems to be a tic but it's easier said than done when it's driving you batty

AntiquityAgain Wed 07-Sep-16 18:46:33

Obviously check for asthma. One of ds2's signs was the throat clearing (and yawning).

I have had tics and twitches for as long as I can remember, so bad under stress sometimes that I ache from them, but not one person mentioned them until I was 17! I'm really glad about it because I think I would've become incredibly stressed and self-conscious about them. The times I do hide them they come out much worse later.

fadingfast Wed 07-Sep-16 18:47:24

My ds has had various minor tics on and off for the past 6 years or so. He is now 11 and I've not spotted one for ages (at least a year, maybe nearer two). They were always more noticeable when he was tired or worried about anything. Coincidentally, he's just started high school and this evening I think I noticed a slight 'blinking' tic. I'd hoped he'd grown out of them but perhaps not yet... I've always tried to ignore and eventually they go away.

Littleredhouse Wed 07-Sep-16 18:49:10

It seems to be more boys that are affected, judging by people I know and the responses on this thread. I wonder why this is?...

Purplebluebird Wed 07-Sep-16 18:50:30

I have Tourettes and if your son has actual tics (many children do and grow out of it) it would take a lot out of him to suppress them. Please be a bit nice and ignore it, bringing attention to it will make it worse or stress him out. Good that you will find out if there is a different medical cause for it. If he does have Tourettes, you might be in for a lifetime of those, and believe me: it is horrible to have it.

zoobeedoo Wed 07-Sep-16 19:07:30

I think, Littlered, but I may well be explaining this wrong, that it is more common in boys because it is linked to ASD (although certainly not an exclusive sign of it) which is more common in males than females, and that when autism is viewed as a spectrum that we are all somewhere along the spectrum with males tending to be further along it than females. So little signs tend to be appear more in boys than girls even if they are not autistic. BUT there is a whole lot of research to show this is not correct and that ASD shouldnt be viewed as a spectrum at all. There is also the thought that its due to a lack of empathy or understanding of others - all the tics have a benefit to a very young child. It feels nice to stretch your face, or clear your throat, or do that funny thing that scratches your inside throat/ear canal but makes a bloody weird noise. Little boys don't notice or care that it sounds weird or bothers others where as (very generally speaking) girls are more aware of their affect on others. For kids who don't grow out of it, they become embarrassing habits that are hard to break that no longer bring a benefit when you are an adult and become stress related, like nail biting. This is from lots of reading and working with children with additional support needs, I do not claim to be any kind of expert!

Disabrie22 Wed 07-Sep-16 19:10:40

Just to add I am always clicking the back of my throat because it seems to help the irritation I have in my ears - it can sometimes be small eustacion tubes?

debbs77 Wed 07-Sep-16 19:15:05

I'd try to ignore him doing it. My step daughter used to continuously tap her legs. That stopped.

And then she would turn her head while watching television, while still watching television, and then back again, constantly. She stopped it.

Then she moved on to crinkling up her nose. Grew out of that too xx

lalalalyra Wed 07-Sep-16 19:18:34

Another one saying get him checked for asthma. Clearing my throat constantly is one of the first signs I need my inhalers tweaked. I can, if I think about it, control it (by swallowing) but no one should have to sit there and think about every breath they take so get him checked out.

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