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To be losing the ability to cope over my daughter's tic

(58 Posts)
theabysswithin Thu 23-Nov-17 15:38:18

Just need to talk to someone about this really. I'm at the end of my tether.
My 6 y-o dd has developed this vocal tic in the past 10 days. Its driving me absolutely nuts. I'm having to strain every fibre of my being not to shout at her to stop it. I'm terrified that its tourettes or that its going to go on for a long time. I'm worried that she is going to be bullied over it, I'm worried that I've caused it and that she's unhappy/stressed. But I'm also fantastically irritated by it and struggling to keep my temper. I'm going to the GP about it tomorrow and have talked to her teacher about it.

I'm a lone parent and a working mum and going through a nasty divorce and my DD's dad basically refuses to do any childcare at all so I can almost never go out or get any time on my alone. My job is extremely stressful and demanding - I work a 10-hour day and usually have to work for another 2-3 hours after work hours end -- and about the one oasis of calm in my life was my DD and the time we had. And now I'm struggling to remain calm in her presence and having difficulty supporting her. I really at the moment feel like I can't cope.

Does anyone else have any experience of something like this? Do things like this pass without medication or counselling? How can I get through this?

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 23-Nov-17 15:41:40

Transient tics are quite common. All of my children had them, and all of them grew out of it.

DD had a throat-clearing tic for months. It nearly drove me bananas, so you have my sympathy.

Try not to draw attention to the tic. Make sure she is getting enough sleep, because tiredness or stress can make the tic worse.

If she's still doing it in a few months, ask the GP for advice.

Schlimbesserung Thu 23-Nov-17 15:42:50

It sounds similar to something one of mine does- they repeat the last syllable of a word three or four times sometimes ("Can I go out and play-ay-ay-ay?). I think it's related to anxiety in my child's case. They have been seeing a speech therapist for a while and she does seem to help with this.
I'd go and ask your GP about it. They might say it's nothing and will stop, or they might make a referral. Does it happen at school too? If so, the school may also be able to make a referral to a SALT.

fairgame84 Thu 23-Nov-17 15:45:12

DS is 13 and has tics. There is no treatment on the nhs for simple tics.
Some children it just disappears on its own. DS's tics have changed over the years, some more tolerable than others. I can't really give any helpful advice as I've never been given any useful advice from any GPs, Paediatricians or psychologists, they just say to ignore it.
I'm quite chilled and work with kids so can manage to ignore the tics, however DS dad finds them unbearable. He always tells DS to stop it which increases DS anxiety and makes the tic worse. It's a vicious circle.
I feel your frustration flowers

Standandwait Thu 23-Nov-17 15:52:28

Poor you flowers.

My own has ASD so not a good example, but what I have learned from when a new problem develops may help a bit:

Your first line of defence is to email your DD's school teacher(s), or send her a note asking for a quick phone call from her. Ask if they are seeing this tic there, too, and whether they think it will pass on its own. If they think DD needs help, they should be able to suggest ed psych or speech & language help, but honestly, if this is a new tic, it's really too early to think it's embedded.

More likely, DD like you is feeling the strain. Sounds like no wonder you two are stressed. When I've gone through bad times with DS, I start to slash out every external stress I can. I pretend the two of us are stuck in a rowboat on a stormy sea, lashed by rain and winds and clinging to each other to keep warm. Meals can become delivery pizza or whatever is easiest and affordable, wardrobes become extremely basic classic (I end up in the same suit every day with a different colour T-shirt underneath), homework for her and other family calls for you become entirely optional, lots of cuddling and joint watching of cartoons on the sofa for both of you become more urgent. I become very silly around DS and start making the kind of jokes 3-year-olds appreciate, silly animal noises and stuff like that so DS can laugh back at me.

Hard to believe it now, but this too shall pass. You know that but probably can't feel it right now. DD doesn't even know it.

Are you yourself getting any outside support?

pollyhampton Thu 23-Nov-17 15:53:35

My ds (12) has verbal and non verbal tics. They come and go depending on stress/tiredness etc. He has no other diagnoses, I mentioned it to the GP a while ago who witnessed them but said it was perfectly normal (if slightly annoying).

PhatSlag Thu 23-Nov-17 15:54:58

One of mine had a cough tic a few years back, she didn’t even know she was doing it but it drove me round the bend.
Another of my DC does the repeating words too. Eg, he said-ed that we’ll go-o to the party-ee.
I just try and ignore it and hope it passes.

theabysswithin Thu 23-Nov-17 16:03:23

standandwait I have spoken to her teacher and alerted her to it. She says she hasn't observed it at school. And I've noticed that its most acute when she's on her own or just with me and largely subsides when she's with other kids.
I don't know if its stress related. I just feel like such a failure.

FinnJuhl Thu 23-Nov-17 16:05:20

It's so hard not to shout isn't it? And then you feel so bad....

My son had a few months of tic-ing at the age of 7. No obvious triggers, totally mundane home life, with both parents around and working fairly short hours. Trying to spot a cause, it maybe happened more often when he was tired, but I was never sure.

I totally ignored (apart from the odd moment of frustration) and it all stopped after about 4 or 5 months. Again, I think it's fairly common at that age, but am no expert.

Hope the GP or teacher can provide some reassurance.

Msqueen33 Thu 23-Nov-17 16:05:54

My dd has verbal tics. One is her gulping like she’s swallowing. For a while she made a tch noise. My only advice is to try and tune it out. My dd has asd so for her it’s a stim and relaxes her and she just can’t stop it.

Crumbs1 Thu 23-Nov-17 16:06:47

Maybe try completely ignoring it? There’s not much you can do but stressing about it is likely to exacerbate the problem.

Cheerybigbottom Thu 23-Nov-17 16:07:03

Vocal tics are the worst for grinding on me too. Ds has tics and when he gets a cold I know the throat clearing tic will last for a fortnight after.

Good idea to go to gp to make sure there's no cause except 'tic'. Then unfortunately you will be told to ignore it. Bringing attention to it makes it worse.

From our experience we were told to come back in 6 months if they don't go away (even if it's different ones within that time off and on). Now ds goes for 'check in' every 6 months to say he's still doing it, see you in 6 months again. Honestly, you lose some of the panic over it. CBT can be used to help but not much has an effect except time passing.

positivity123 Thu 23-Nov-17 16:07:41

No advice but hope you are ok. In no way are you a failure, you are bringing up your daughter single handedly!

Whatsoccuringlovely Thu 23-Nov-17 16:08:27

Why are you a failure?

3 our if my 5 kids had ticks at some points as I did as s child. No divorce or particular anxiety in 2 cases but extreme anxiety in one child due to ptsd.

You are not a failure. It just happens and generally goes. Bloody annoying though I agree. flowers

AnachronisticCorpse Thu 23-Nov-17 16:10:41

I could have written this post a few years ago. DD also did it more when it was just me and her. She went through a range of tics for a few years, throat clearing, sniffing, clicking her tongue, snapping her fingers. It was awful, I really struggle with noises anyway (misophonia) and I thought I was going to lose the plot. Also, because it was around me the most I suspected she was doing it on purpose.

Anyway, she’s 13 now and has grown out of it (touch wood). So all I can suggest is to grit your teeth and wait a few years.

Madonnasmum Thu 23-Nov-17 16:10:54

I wrote a very similar post this time last year. I went to the docs who said it's really common and will pass. Like you, I was really worried it was the start of something serious. I also involved the SEN at school as a heads up.
It peaked after 3 months and then trailed off again over another couple of months. No symptoms anymore.
I think it was linked to the death of my mother and was either an expression of his grief or the impact of mine (which I had thought I'd hidden from him)

IHeartKingThistle Thu 23-Nov-17 16:11:29

I had a throat clearing tic at age 7 or 8 for months and months. It just went away. I remember being in the Brownies and going to sing at an old people's home and one of the staff bringing me a glass of water. When I realised it was annoying people I was embarrassed but it was like a compulsion. It did go away though!

GoingCrazy21 Thu 23-Nov-17 16:12:43

Please, please, please don't get angry at her for it. She can't help it.

I am an adult (twenties) and have had tics since I was 5. Apparently I cam home from school one day and said that it was a 'habit' - it wasn't as I hadn't been doing it in the morning! I told my mother I saw someone doing it in the playground and now couldn't stop.

For me, as I've got older I have naturally found ways to lessen the obviousness of them - when I'm aware I'm doing it that is. I have OCD and anxiety and this is an extension of it, so maybe seeing a GP is best as she may be suffering from one of these.

I also had vocal tics for a while as a child and they drove my parents crazy. However I did grow out of these.

From a reassurance POV - while I do have anxiety issues I am high functioning, live independently, have friends, a degree, a good job, never any trouble in job interviews etc. I got bullied very very slightly for it in primary school - but not nearly as much as I would have expected. Never in secondary school.

I hope this helps a little!

Trinity66 Thu 23-Nov-17 16:13:28

I have no experience with this but I wish you the best, sounds like you have an awful lot on your plate atm <3

CrypticClues Thu 23-Nov-17 16:19:37

My oldest has a few tics - most are transient, when I raised it as concern I was reassured by how common it is. Try not to worry, and try not to make a big deal of it for her...

theabysswithin Thu 23-Nov-17 16:19:43

GoingCrazy I have deliberately not got angry with her. I've very seldom referred to it and when I have I have I've just approached it to ask her how she feels about it. She has told me in a rather matter of fact way that she sometimes finds it hard to stop. I've been agonising as to whether to take her to the GP or to see the GP alone and raise it with him before bringing her in. Based on what I've read -- here and elsewhere -- the chances of getting any treatment for it on the NHS are slim anyway so I'm inclined not to take her in until she becomes very distressed by it which at the moment she's not.

It sounds awful but at the moment I think its worse for me. I have a hair-trigger anxiety with it now. It's the last in a long line of things I have to worry about.

OhNoFuckADuck Thu 23-Nov-17 16:25:04

Kids who are struggling can often hold it together at school - it's structured and they are not comfortable enough there to relax and show how anxious they are. That doesn't make it any easier for you but I have heard that signs of anxiety can sometimes only be displayed in the place where the child feels safe enough to let down the front they present to the rest of the world. Be kind to yourself and keep giving her lots of love.

theabysswithin Thu 23-Nov-17 16:27:48

FuckaDuck Do you think this is a sign of anxiety then?

Madonnasmum Thu 23-Nov-17 16:28:09

Oh Yes, I also got into a better bedtime routine as ours had slipped....

Charolais Thu 23-Nov-17 16:29:44

I think she is picking up on your stress and it is making her anxious. I am the same way around some people. I think you need help more than she does. I really feel for you. I was once in the same place.

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