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My DS2 is 7. For just over a year he's been doing, what I can only describe as, Tics.
He changes them every 2-3 months. Initially it was looking out of the corner of his eye. So he'd be looking at something and would suddenly move his head so that he could see out of the corner of his eye. When that tic first started his teacher called me in after school as she was concerned about him ( he has a low grade brain tumour which affects his eyes- he's now under going chemo )
He has since stopped doing that, but has also had a nodding head tic, one where he'd suddenly stop dead as he was walking and he's been doing the most recent for the last month or so. It's the most obvious as its a noise. He basically sniffs but also makes noises with his mouth, sometimes sounds like his laughing inwards, almost like a hiccup sound.
When it's bad, it's constant. He's sat on the sofa next to me ( watching a video on the iPad) and he's constantly sniffing in and making some sort of noise. He assures me he doesn't do it at school , my biggest worry is other children noticing ( and they couldn't miss it!)
I'm worried that it's Tourette's mainly due to that fact it's dragging on.
Does anyone have any experience of this?
Hello. I can relate, it's so tough isn't it?
My son started with a blinking tic aged 4, fast rapid hard blinking that is impossible not to find distracting and others commented. It came and went, only to resurface again and again over the last 3 years (he turns 7 this April) The blinking has been very problematic since Xmas. This has coincided with he development of severe OCD symptoms which I am now seeing a therapist for. He hasn't had other tics as such, more compulsions over the years - frequent urinating, sock adjusting, more OCD like than tic like. However, the recent development of severe OCD and rituals makes me worry about the eye tic pointing to Tourette's more than ever for two reasons: (1) Tourette's and OCD often go hand in hand (2) His eye tics have been present on and off for nearly 3 years.
So I can totally relate to the torment and fear watching things unfold, you feel so powerless as a mum, as you just want to 'fix'. I have no idea how things will pan out for my son so I take a day at a time. As e ages kids are starting to comment more than they did when he was younger so that's hard.
But you are not alone! Hopefully other mums will jump on the thread and share their stories. Reading suggests tics are common, but I certainly feel like my DS is the only one in his peer group to show signs xx
Forgot to say - my DS's tics are also much worse when on TV or IPAD, I worry he will give himself a headache from blinking so hard and fast x
I'm another whose child has tics, since he was 2. It started with the eye blinking and changes all the time, sometimes it's very subtle, others times it's very obvious. One of the things i have noticed is, it gets worse during times of stress/tiredness and anxiety. He often has motor and vocal tics together. My dad and myself both had tics growing up, my dad also had OCD. As far as i know my son doesn't have OCD, it's not something I've noticed yet anyway, but may be something he does go on to develop. He is being tested for ADD/ADHD, which was prompted by his teacher, he's always fidgeting, lacks attention and concentration, sometimes I think this could be caused by his tic though. It's a very complex condition, linked to many other conditions. I do wish there was more research regarding tics though, I know that a lot of it is related to neuro-transmitters in the brain, also that it can be managed using something called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, something me and my husband are going to look into.
Mamamoose - my son is starting CBT for his OCD soon, so I wonder if this might ease his tics or can be directed towards it? Let's hope so! I have a thread that I'm keeping updated on my OCD/tic journey so will report back on that anything that helps over the coming months x
My DC1 has tics. Coming on really well wth a child psychologist. Speak to your GP for a referral (paediatric neurologist was crap - only suggestion was medication)
Tics are thought to be caused by a dopamine inbalance. Dopamine is also implicated in ADHD and OCD, hence the high rates of co-morbidity.
Mindfulness seems to help with dopamine regulation.
babypup-That will be great to have some feedback on the CBT. Can I please ask if you are getting the help privately or through your doctor? We are considering going private, although I know it's going to cost a fair bit. My son's tics are also worse when he's on the computer/iPad.
HermioneWeasley-Thanks for the info, have just googled Dopamine, interesting. I may discuss this with the GP.
Well, we have been referred to CAMHS, an I have an appointment (finally) next Tuesday with a child psychiatrist. However, in the interim I found a private Consultant Clinical Psychologist who is working with Josh (only had an intro session thus far so way too early to tell if it will bring benefit or relief). If CAMHS offer me CBT I will consider it (as the weekly private sessions equate to 400 a month, eek) but to be honest I like having the private care and knowing the rug won't be pulled from under me when they decide. Also, I'm not in this for a formal diagnosis, just the tools I need so Josh can learn to fight this battle (OCD being the main issue at present). My feeling is the only benefit of CAMHS right now is financially and maybe the option of medication, but I don't feel good about putting him on a SSRI so young, he's only 6 and sticking him on Prozac for his OCD just doesn't feel good to me! We only have the one tic at present, so all the focus right now is on the OCD. I do sometimes wonder if the blinking is an actual compulsion, but it doesn't look at all under his control to me, he hates it bless his wee heart. I feel heart sorry for kids with tics, it's a crappy thing for them to deal with. I feel my role is to build his self esteem so high that no bugger can knock it down no matter how bad the tics get....or even if his OCD drives him to reorganising the contents of the entire bloody school. What else can we do as Mums but accept every inch of them and all their quirks? But it can be so tough and frightening at times xx
Babypup-It's difficult isn't it, I feel so helpless that I can't help my son with his tics, it's hard. I've just read up on OCD and I haven't noticed any of the symptoms in my son that are suggested. Tics/Tourette's/OCD runs in my fathers side, so in my son's case I think it's purely genetical, although his brother who is nearly 5, doesn't show any signs of tics. X
Mamamoose1 - My DSs father had slight OCD as a child, he remembers having compulsions but not the obsessions, so whether it was true OCD or not I really don't know. I notice his dad having a few mild tics now and then - a bit of shoulder shrug thing. So maybe this has come from his Dad. Who knows. My father has suffered from bipolar his whole life, but I'm not as aware of any link between than and tics/OCD. I just wish I could help him more and make this go away, instead of constantly worrying about the future, I can imagine you can relate! x
Tics/OCD does seem to run in some families, the same as mental health problems, my mother and her three sisters all suffer from mental health related problems, also my sister, but it hasn't affected me despite us having the same mum. I do think a lot of conditions are hereditary. I do sometimes worry about DS coping with his tics and I'm hoping he doesn't get full-blown Tourette's like my father, he also had the swearing tic in his teens, it's called (coprolalia), he also had what is classed as ADHD, but as an adult he doesn't really show any signs of having tics now, although he still has an element of OCD, when he is particularly stressed. It's not something I'm going to spend too much time over thinking on though, it's a condition he has got and something we all accept that he has, I think we will just take a see how things go approach to it, at the moment it doesn't seem to be having any affect on him in anyway and a lot of the time, he doesn't even notice he's doing it, bless him. X
You have a great attitude to it, I need to find a more accepting attitude as I tend to be quite controlling and want to fix everything. That doesn't work with this condition, it creates more stress and anxiety. The OCD I find so hard, that's the part that has robbed him of his spirit and changed how he behaves. The light behind his eyes went when that arrived. Before that he was a wee lad with tics, but this development has really thrown me. It's a horrid illness and he feels guilty and ashamed, not emotions a 6 year old should feel x
I used to think very similar to you babypup, I felt like I couldn't control the situation, which can make you feel quite helpless at times, as a parent, but then I realised it's something I have no control over. In fact OCD can be a coping mechanism, when a person feels anxious, depressed, tired etc, it's a way of feeling in control, which makes me think that the Child Psychologist route may be a good route to go for you. I know it's hard, but when your son does his OCD rituals, can you kind of play it down, pay very little attention to it? I'm not sure what rituals your son does, but it may help with him feeling guilty about doing it, or ignore it altogether? I think OCD is similar to Tics in a way that a child feels the need to do something, which is involuntary, like a release and only by doing and acting out certain behaviours they feel content. You sound like a great mum and I'm sure things will get easier for your son in time. X
I know many of us are worried about other world events right now, but anyone mind letting me know how things went?
I had them as a child (nose, eyes and neck), but back then no one really noticed them, I wasn't challenged - so there wasn't any reason to be concerned about the tics.
As an adult (especially after motherhood) I have been really nervous around the kids and basically I didn't sleep for 2 years. In this time my tics returned. I was diagnosed with OCD in 2017. The tics stop when I take my medication.
Just keep an eye one him and see what happens. Tics don't have to mean anything :-)