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Does anyone else's child have nervous tics?

(9 Posts)
SleepingLion Tue 29-Jun-10 10:58:38

My DS (7) has had a number of what I would regard as nervous tics and twitches over the past couple of years, throat clearing being one example. We have ignored them and they have disappeared eventually. But his most recent one is a nervous shrug where he jerks his head back and twitches his shoulders up. It's actually a little distressing to see because it is so noticeable and I know he is conscious of it although I don't think other children have commented on it.

The doctor was very dismissive when I tried to speak to him about it (he may as well have had PFB/neurotic mum written on his face, so clear was his expression grin) so am I worrying about nothing? Or do you think I should be trying to get to the cause of it?

Any advice/shared experience would be appreciated!

Lynli Tue 29-Jun-10 11:20:06

My DD had a nervous tic she would do some strange facial movements I can't really describe. Until I read you post I had forgotten about it. We took her to the doctor and he said ignore it it will go away.
As she became more confident in school it went away.

I would just ignore it as much as you can. I found I could distract her whilst she was doing it and then she would stop. I think it is definitely "less said soonest mended".

sydenhamhiller Tue 29-Jun-10 11:23:10

Hi there. My DS (6yrs) has had them on and off since he was nearly 4 - mainly excessive, excessive blinking. Lovely paediatric opthalmologist said nothing wrong with eyes, probably a behavioural thing...and my heart sank, as his cousin (male) had terrible twitches age 5-10 ish.

However, she said to just accept it as 'his thing', like having to wear glasses, and if that is how you explain it to other children, they often shrug and accept...and that children often do grow out of it.

It still does come and go, less frequently, and we (parents and GP) think it is a mixture of (1) nervous tic when he's a bit stressed (2) allergies (3) learned behaviour, i.e. once he starts blinking it becomes a habit, and he finds it hard to not do it.

I had been worried as his cousin had a lot of tics - rubbing face, facial spasms etc... but actually, now cousin is 15, they have all gone...

Sorry, don't think I've really helped, bit of a brain dump as I've got to rush out... just wanted to say, yes, I'v got shared experience... no real advice, except I think if it really concerns you/ your child, I would pursue...even if comes down to a professional being able to give your child some relaxing techniques, in case it is stress -related. I was very very upset when the GP said DS seemed stressed...but I think they mean what my mum would describe as 'highly strung'.

I found our GP practice's speech therapist the most sympathetic/ down to earth. The GPs I've seen (we have mega practice, so a different one every time) are either dismissive or the other extreme!

Best wishes to you all

elmofan Tue 29-Jun-10 18:15:15

Hi sleepinglion , My ds (11yrs) has developed a dreadful tic , he shakes his head (as if his fringe is too long & getting in his eyes then kind of finishes it off with a nod ) but he has short hair ,
His tic started after he was badly bullied in school (which has stopped now) my doctor has advised us to ignore it & see if it goes away now that he is starting his summer holidays tomorrow , its very hard to ignore it though as at times he is constantly doing it . I took him shopping yesterday to get a book & the assistant behind the counter was staring at ds while she was serving the person in front of me with a very obvious shock & look of horror on her face , even while serving me & ds she did not stop gawping at him angry poor ds saw her & got very self conscious .Then i have to deal with the daily phone calls from ds's grandparents who think i should be doing something (id love to know what) to help ds instead of following our paediatricians advice of ignoring the tic . my heart breaks for ds & i really dont know how to help him sad

slumby Tue 29-Jun-10 19:20:59

My son started with mild tics (blinking etc) at around the age of 7. These were ignored at first and gradually disappeared only for new ones to re-appear (head turning and throat clearing)By the age of around 9-10 the tics had become really obvious and slighly embarrassing for DS. Went to GP and were referred to a clinical psychologist. Very nice lady - helpful and understanding. He was diagnosed with Tourettes syndrome, was giving coping techniques and prescribed medication. Went to see Dr monthly and meds adjusted accordingly. Now aged 14 tics have disappeared altogether and DS now much happier. Do think the meds helped to tone down the tics as they were really obvious at times, and DS was bullied and ridiculed as a result. Was glad of the help from the Clinical Psyc as she was also a source of support to me as well.

SleepingLion Tue 29-Jun-10 19:22:24

Thank you all for sharing your experiences - it is so helpful just to hear other stories. elmofan, your poor DS sad I can't believe people stare - that is so cruel!

We are doing the same thing - waiting (and hoping) to see if the summer holidays bring any relief for it. His teacher says he is very conscientious and conformist so I do think he gets anxious about school and friendships and so on - he is indeed highly strung, sydenhamhiller! Like you, I would hate the word 'stressed' to be applied.

I will ignore it and hope that as he relaxes into the summer it becomes less frequent. I do worry a little bit about the learned behaviour thing though.

rabbitstew Tue 29-Jun-10 22:26:26

Hi, SleepingLion,

Tics are actually extremely common in children. Most children do grow out of it, although it can last quite some time in a few - into the teens. My ds1 has quite a few that come and go, his dad had a lot as a child, which got quite bad when he was 10 or 11 and he was teased about them (but not bullied), before they tailed off, although he has one or two even now that come out when he's stressed or tired (very minor ones - hardly noticeable unless you know him well). One of my brothers also had them as a child, never got teased about them, and also occasionally still does them, but again, they come across more as little minor mannerisms that aren't too annoying. If you pay very close attention to the people around you, you'll see quite how many nervous blinks, coughs, grimaces, sniffs, lip smacks, tongue noises, shoulder twitches, nose twitches, jaw clenches, arm twitches, foot stamps or scuffs, etc, apparently ordinary people do have, even in adulthood!

And yes, the advice is to try and ignore them. If you comment on them, they may get worse, or be replaced by something even less desirable! In reality, I think it's very difficult not to say anything at all, ever...

wheezle Sun 02-Jun-13 12:53:27

I've been reading up on tics etc in gifted children as my 9 year old daughter has been having them for years but now they are getting much worse. Started with a stammer age 2 but that passed. We have had compulsive thumb sucking, hand sniffing, loud sniffing etc. Now she does a loud, explosive cough, throat clearing and blinking. Never had 3 at once before. I know I am supposed to ignore them, but I find them REALLY irritating. Any advice on how to ignore and stay sane??? She is oversensitive too, wriggles a lot etc, won't wear certain clothes because of the seams, hates certain noises and smells. Until I looked this up today I thought she was just being contrary.

Also, how do I handle school? So far they have been massively unhelpful. The tics are worse when she is bored and she is constantly bored witless at school. Academically she is way ahead of her year but they refuse to accomodate her needs.

feepee2017 Mon 06-Feb-17 12:35:29

HI
I hope you have found some help/support over the tics issue. My son also started tics when he was 3. I went to an unsympathetic GP and mentioned PANDAS with a view for tests for strep and was met with annoyance (partly fr mentioning a term he wasnt aware of) Since then its been a disrupted long and frustrating journey as the tics remain though they come and go. I was given a useless psych consultation. I really don't believe it is an emotion/mental issue (for my child) Latitudes is an interesting and informative forum to read over.There have been some books also written if you are looking at how food and environment can trigger/support tics. Many posts I read had success using a GAPS diet. I can't even try this as my partner is a staunch vegetarian who forbids this. I have recently been listening to a lot of information on vaccination ingredients and heavy metals seem a very plausible trigger - some children can't process all the toxins (and because the vaccines are injected into the blood they surpass the brain/blood barrier) and HM can cause all manner of things. SO I am maybe going to look into homeopathy but a bit more diagnosis is what I want first - my son had a comprehensive stool test which showed a lot of parasites and no lacto bifilus (one of the most fundamental friendly bacteria) ...which now I think about it may bear some relation to vaccine impact. I wish you the best!

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