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Blinking habit really worrying me now...

(10 Posts)
babypup Tue 25-Feb-14 14:57:12

Hi ladies,

I have posted on here in the past about my son who is 4, he will be 5 at the end of April.

Last May, shortly after his 4th birthday he developed a blinking tic, a kind of hard squeeze with lots of frequent blinking. His eye test was fine, I was told it was just a habit and that it would pass. It settled down into a pattern of being any time he was innactive, like in the car seat/watching TV. It stopped after 3 months so I breathed again!

Then in November it started again and has been on and off since. The first phase last summer was constant for 3 months. Since re-emerging in November it's there for 2 weeks, gone a week and so on.

I'm really stressed that due to the re-emergence of this tic, and the fact it's fast approaching a year I could be looking at some sort of tic disorder or even tourettes. I'm finding it really hard to take the wait and see approach as I'm such a control freak by nature and just want to help.

Has anybody got any experience with similar things that can offer any insight/advice. Mumsnet is always my first port of call with things like this, as my GP is just so useless and not very supportive xx

sprite25 Tue 25-Feb-14 16:08:30

Is there anyway you can see another doctor for a second opinion? If it was going to settle down on its own I would of thought it would of happened already. I'm no expert but it does sound as though it's a behavioral thing as it calms down when he's concentrating on something else but if it is something else it's best to find out sooner rather then later. Be persistent and assertive, sorry I don't have more advice/experience to offer but didn't wanna read and run. I hope it gets sorted soon

insideleg Tue 25-Feb-14 20:18:47

Hiya, my son had this. He has a speech disorder and is not talking, we have been doing various speech therapy activities and we were asking lots of questions etc. basically the SALT said it was a physical demonstration of anxiety, he was getting stressed with us trying too hard. When we stopped asking questions, it stopped. Almost overnight. Does your DS have any new anxieties?

naty1 Tue 25-Feb-14 21:04:46

Eye check.
I had a bit of a twitch in my eye and i started using a screen protector at work that seemed to help. But it may also have been stress related.

ianleeder Tue 25-Feb-14 22:52:48

I had a blinking tic (I'm 32 now!), as a child, my uncle blinked a lot so I copied him and started blinking constantly on and off from age 6 to my mid 20's! There's nothing wrong with me, some days I can control myself and on some days I can't. When I'm tired, nervous and stress I blink a lot. The more my parents point out to me, I blink even more. What I realised is that if I have a hobby, I'm busy or have a new project, my blinking tic stop as I don't think about it as my mind is busy with something else.

ditsydoll Tue 25-Feb-14 22:59:17

My niece has a blinking tick. It started as what we thought was a habbit about 4 years ago and seemed to flare up when she was stressed, bored or nervous. It's would come and go but it's never left her. She's coming up for teenage years soon.
The doctors have all said it's a facial tick that she can't control. It's become less noticeable as she's gotten older because we're just used to it but there's nothing wrong with her. She's just a normal beautiful pre teen who just happens to have this tick. Doctors have ruled out torretts but there was a chance it could have been that.
Sorry if iv not said what u wanted to hear but thought that might be if some help.

PJ67 Tue 25-Feb-14 23:00:20

Hi. I have 3 sons who all have/ have had tics. My oldest started around age 3 with blinking which, like your son was for a few months then went away and came back. He also developed shoulder shrugging, taking deep breaths, rolling his eyes to the side and various other tics which would come and go. Like you I was really anxious and had myself in a real state. I would say that his worse tics were around age 6 and then they just gradually disappeared. He's 14 now and fine. My 7 yr old has had tics since age 2, starting with blinking. When he was 5 he had a few at a time and it's only in the last couple of months that he hasn't had any so I'm cautiously hopeful. My 4 yr old has had a couple of episodes of rubbing his face and shrugging his shoulders on and off so I know he'll have tics too. I'm less anxious than I used to be but still get quite worked up and know exactly how you feel. I haven't taken my youngest two to the doctor as I don't see the point in drawing attention to them. I don't really think they're due to anxiety but can be worse with stress or positive excitement. Although it's very very hard the best thing to try to do is ignore it.
Try not to imagine the worse case senario as even though his blinking comes and goes or other tics emerge it doesn't mean that the outcome will be terrible. He could have them for a few years then they could well just go away.
Feel free to send me a message if you want to ask anything else.

babypup Wed 26-Feb-14 14:43:52

Thanks everybody for your posts.

Insideleg - No, we cannot identify any particular stress in his life when a blinking phase starts. He also never seems to do it in a stressful situation, mainly at times of rest like relaxing and watching TV, so when his body is still.

ianleeder - This is exactly like my son, when busy and engaged he does not blink, but when he is bored, inactive or tired it manifests itself then.

PJ67 - I agree about ignoring them, I never mention it to my son but it breaks my heart when I see it. I find it so stressful when it re-emerges after a period of 'quiet'. I seem to spend my life thinking what is coming next rather than just accepting it and thinking positively that it will just stop. It's like a can of tic worms has been opened! In your experience with your older two sons do these things just tend to level off? The criteria for diagnosis seems to rigid that I feel if this continues more than one year it's no longer termed as transient and must be chronic tic disorder or tourettes. I think that's what freaking me out the most. Some days I wish I could just relax and enjoy him, I' sure you know how that feels x

PJ67 Wed 26-Feb-14 23:53:16

Baby pup, I know exactly how you feel and it is heartbreaking to watch at times. I also get very anxious and find that I'm worrying what they will be doing when I pick them up from nursery or school, if the tics will be worse, if there will be a new one etc. In my older sons they seem to have settled down and what I try to remember is that they have never been bothered by them, only me. I also know what you mean by worrying that if it's no longer transient tics that it's more serious but I did read that children can have a series of transient tics over several years and also that the majority of children with tics never see a doctor and are not severe.

adoptmama Thu 27-Feb-14 04:58:50

Have you been given a neurology referral to rule out the blinking as a seizure manifestation (especially as you see it when watching TV)? It could be a form of simple partial epileptic seizure.

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