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My 5 year old boy

(15 Posts)
babypup Thu 20-Mar-14 12:59:57

My nearly 5 year old son has been developing tics this past year. I have to say that I have reached an all time low now watching this unfold.
His excessive blinking has been fairly consistent, had a 4 month break late summer - winter 13, but returned and has been on the go since then. It stopped a week ago and has been replaced by constant sniffing. I am scared rigid by these tics. There have been some other behaviours but I'm not 100% sure they were tics to be honest, but they probably were in retrospect. I feel as though this is developing into something more serious than a few innocent tics now and it's really affecting me. I ignore them, but I find myself avoiding spending times with him, keeping myself busy around him because I am so anxious about where this is going now. It's like I can't enjoy him the way I used to so I feel so bloody selfish and a failure! I just feel so sad for my boy and what this could lead to, I'm terrified it will soon be classed as tourettes syndrome. I go through feeling angry, stressed, sleeping poorly. I just don't understand why all this started. The whole watch, wait, observe situation this past year has really taken its toll now sad xx

Chocomint Thu 20-Mar-14 13:51:46

Sorry to hear of anxiety regarding your son. It must be so hard to see him this way. How does he feel about the tics?

Can you think of anything that happened in his life at the time they started? It could be a big event but equally might have been something we might regard as insignificant, but for which he's found comfort by ticcing.

Something like hypnotherapy may help him.

Whilst I can understand a diagnosis of TS could be hard, he, and you, could get so much support via the Touretts Action charity.

babypup Thu 20-Mar-14 14:10:34

Hi Chocomint,

Thanks very much for your message.

We have struggled to identify any particular stress factor related to these tics. There was no change in routine/situation/issue at the time they first arose. Also, he tends to tic mostly when relaxing, in front of the tv as opposed to when he is getting a row or feeling anxious about things. That's the only pattern we have noticed regardless of what tic he is doing at the time. I almost dread turning on the TV cause I'm frightened of what he will be doing next.

The GP told me to 'come back when the wheels fall off' as there is no point labelling a child so young. I agree with that in part, but not with the lack of support it shows.

He is aware of his tics, they seem to annoy him. He will rub his eyes when he has the blinking tic, and his nose when he has the sniffing tic. Almost as though he is trying to get rid of a horrible sensation x

gottasmile Thu 20-Mar-14 14:33:54

I really sympathise, it is really upsetting not knowing why he's doing this.

My ds has gone through a couple of different tics, his started when we moved from abroad to the UK. He was about 7. With ds, though, he wasn't really aware that he was doing it (his were first pulling the collar of his t-shirt, then a sort of nose movement - we used to call it bunny nose).

I would point it out to him then he would stop. He got annoyed with me pointing it out but it made him stop at the time. He used to say he just couldn't help it.

Then as suddenly as they started, they stopped. They each lasted around 6 months. His friend also had one, I noticed where he would sniff his hands. This has stopped too. Speaking to a few mums, it seems it's more common than you would have thought.

The conclusion I came to was that it was just a little boy way of dealing with his issues (not sure what the issues were exactly, but maybe a bit of insecurity)

Hopefully your ds's tics won't be forever and they'll disappear too. If not though, you will find a lot of support out there. I know as a mum, it's so so hard to see your children suffer. I really wish you luck with getting to the bottom of it.

babypup Thu 20-Mar-14 14:45:48

Thanks Gottasmile,

It's comforting to know that for some this doesn't last forever. I think I am really scared because his recent tic is a vocal one, and the combination of motor and vocal tics is supposed to be a bad thing, but who knows I guess.

He is a nervous kind of kid, very outgoing on the surface but a deep thinker. Much more sensitive than he lets on.

I just want him to be OK x

May09Bump Thu 20-Mar-14 18:00:14

Quite a few of the 5 year olds I know have developed stutters - all from different friend groups. I think at this age, strange things are happening with development, hormones. I think its natural not to enjoy your kid as much, as you are naturally distracted / worried about his tics - its not that you love him less. Worry is a huge pressure. I have experienced the same thing due to various things in my sons life - I have found experiencing new things together distracts us all from the issue and gives us a bit of relief and joy. My son like painting pottery / indoor wall climbing and swimming. Have a think about something new to try - it worked for us.

Also, if he doesn't grow out of his tic, the DRs and treatments are always getting more advance and I try to focus on hope on the horizon.

babypup Thu 20-Mar-14 18:14:11

That's a lovely idea May09Bump, it will give us something else to focus on together, and his tics always lessen when he is engaged in an activity. I will certainly take that on board x

earlyriser Thu 20-Mar-14 18:29:51

Is it definitely a tic and not just hay fever? Just the rubbing eyes and irritated nose, with sniffing and a break over winter would suggest a pollen allergy rather than a tic.

babypup Thu 20-Mar-14 19:27:49

Yip, it's not hay fever. The blinking stopped in July but started again in November and has been hanging around ever since. It's more of a twitch/blink type thing, definitely a tic unfortunately. Perhaps the sniffing may be something different, I guess I'm just assuming that must be a tic too x

May09Bump Thu 20-Mar-14 21:26:50

Have a go a indoor climbing then as it takes a lot of focus - but is good fun! Glad you like the idea. Also would recommend everyone getting to bed early /on time and going for a walk if anyone is stressed about it - helps relax.

Chocomint Fri 21-Mar-14 13:32:11

Interesting that his tics appear when relaxing in front of the TV. I found this link and it seems its not unusual to link tics and TV. Hope it's useful robertrehak.com/wordpress/2013/03/06/impact-of-television-screens-on-nervous-tics/

NaturalBaby Fri 21-Mar-14 13:32:50

Why are you so worried about it? What are you worried about? Are you worried about his development or other people's response or what it says about you as a mother or something else?

My ds also had a blinking type twitch but I used to have a similar nervous twitch when I was this age as well so it helped me to focus on how I felt at the time. It really wasn't a big deal to me, just something that made me feel a bit better. I grew out of it and so will your ds. My ds has just changed schools and it seems to have stopped, despite him being under more stress with the move. He is also very sensitive but seems very confident at school. He loves colouring and drawing, so we have a table and chair set up for him in the main living area with various books and crayons etc.
The best thing you can do is reassure him that there's nothing wrong with him or what he does. You're describing fairly strong emotions as a response to something he's doing and he may be picking up on it.

Sillylass79 Fri 21-Mar-14 13:42:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

May09Bump Fri 21-Mar-14 15:26:16

Just to clear things up - I wasn't saying stammers were tics. I was just saying a lot of 5 year olds we know are experiencing different issues atm, which may or may not be permanent. A bit like saying your not on your own.

babypup Sun 23-Mar-14 21:10:11

Thanks everybody for your responses.
NaturalBaby and Sillylass- I am aware my reaction is not positive, despite appearing relaxed and not commenting on his tics he will be sensing my anxiety you are right.
Naturalbaby - it's not so much that I am so worried about one tic in isolation, more the pattern of the tics and new ones emerging. I am concerned this signifies a more long-term issue with tics as opposed to one simple transient tic. When he displayed his blinking tic initially last May it did just phase out after 3 months and I was fairly relaxed about it. But when is re-emerged and has been there for nearly 5 months, and has added in the sniffing I am fearful this will continue to develop into TS and I do worry about that x

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