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Ds 11 has a tic, can anyone help?

(75 Posts)
ShootingStarsss Thu 28-Mar-13 22:56:56

As the title says ds who is 11 has a tic.
It's been going in a few months now, when he first was doing it I didn't realise it was a tic & would ask him to stop, which obviously now I know he can't.
It is a clearing the throat and a sort of cluck he also twitches & blinks his eyes a lot.

He has said when he tried not to do it it makes home feel "ill" his words and he gets a dry throat.

It is defiantly affecting him more at school & he is very aware of it now, he hates assembly cause he said he can't stop doing it and it can be quiet in assembly.

Is it time to go to the doctors? Is there anything we can do to help?

I know nothing about tics apart from bits I have googled.

ShootingStarsss Fri 29-Mar-13 00:59:08

Does it thornrose, what else does your dd do or not like?
Can I ask what age your dd was when you knew she had AS?

thornrose Fri 29-Mar-13 00:59:51

Have you considered Aspergers or autism? I'm NOT trying to "diagnose" and I hope you don't mind me saying?

Xiaoxiong Fri 29-Mar-13 01:04:01

Shooting a perspective from a few decades on, my DH has a blinking twitch which apparently runs in the family where he blinks very hard repeatedly so his eyes really scrunch up, he can't control it. It comes and goes but it has noticeably reduced in frequency over the years though as he has got older, apparently when he was a child it was near constant at times.

I have noticed that three things can trigger it - when his eyes are tired from sitting in front of a computer all day, when he's stressed (often triggered by perfectionist tendencies) and when his specs prescription needs updating.

Your son sounds ace though smile hope the GP can help as well.

thornrose Fri 29-Mar-13 01:04:56

Cross post there.
My dd also hates hair washing and nail cutting. She has lots of irrational fears which come and go. From clouds to her latest fear which is dogs.
She has always been a "fussy" eater. Hates changes to routines and the unexpected.
She struggles socially and tbh I always knew there was something " different" about her but got a formal diagnosis at about age 7.

AgentZigzag Fri 29-Mar-13 01:08:13

He sounds really lovely smile

Love the having a 'funky' style of his own.

Not that it means anything, but from the list I only recognise the over active imagination as OCD stuff.

It is a physical feeling in your body and you mind, but a lot of it is to do with 'unequal' feelings on one side of your body rather than the more general hair/teeth washing problem you're describing.

Selks Fri 29-Mar-13 01:10:14

He sounds as if he has a high degree of sensory senstitivity, OP. Whether this is linked in any way to the tics is hard to say.

ShootingStarsss Fri 29-Mar-13 01:10:36

Thank you xiaio I am sure the blinking/twitching his eyes is tiredness or at least it's worse when tired, he does make a joke & say to me, mum I'm winking at you again grin

Thorn I have always wondered about ds because some of this has been since he was a toddler, like loud noises he hates the Hoover always has, when a toddler he used to hide under the table & hold his ears.

I wasn't sure about ADHD back when he was younger but never looked into ap and autism.

thornrose Fri 29-Mar-13 01:17:39

. Does he pick at all, pick the skin on his fingers or lips, anything of that nature?

ShootingStarsss Fri 29-Mar-13 01:18:10

I must look into OCD as I know this affects people in different ways, my sister has OCD.

He hates nail cutting to.

I will defiantly take him to the gp because the tic is annoying him, he wants to stop but can't.

He is a character, he loves hats at the moment all sorts, styles and colours, he is also obsessed with wolves has been for about 3 years he knows every fact there is to know about a wolfgrin his teacher told me they were doing something in school on animals & ds said his favourite is a wolf, ds then went on to tell his teacher many facts to which the teacher was amazed at his knowledge of wolves, I told him ds is fascinated by them, he said that will explain why he was so interested and his concentration switched grin

I am very close with ds we have a special bond & always have smile

ShootingStarsss Fri 29-Mar-13 01:20:21

Yes thorn he picks the skin round the sides of his nails not that he makes it really sore but he does pick it, other than that he doesn't pick.

ShootingStarsss Fri 29-Mar-13 01:21:52

I agree with you selks he does have high sensitivity.
He is a very fussy eater as well.
He doesn't struggle socially he has many friends girls & boys.

zzzzz Fri 29-Mar-13 01:24:20

I think you might find it interesting to post on the sn board. Lots of the things you describe sound very familiar. Tics and OCD are often part of ASD type dx, but can also be independent, either way there are certainly posters with experience who post there regularly.

thornrose Fri 29-Mar-13 01:25:05

He sounds adorable, it's great that he has lots of friends. You could have a look at Sensory Processing Disorder (if its called that these days!) Occupational therapists can be really helpful.

AgentZigzag Fri 29-Mar-13 01:25:30

I'm only going on what I felt as a child who had sometimes 'unusual' behaviour (not suggesting that's the way your DS is or comes across as being), but my parents understanding and patience was crucial in giving me the confidence to be content in myself on the whole.

I dread to think what I'd have been like if they'd gone down the critical/nagging route shock

Your DS will be fine if he's got you on his side.

ShootingStarsss Fri 29-Mar-13 01:31:54

Thank you zzzzz I will have a look and pop over there smile

Agent I am very patient with him I also don't mention his tic unless he does, to be honest I think we are that used to it that we don't notice it all the time I am more aware of it if he is sitting by me watching a film or doing homework etc.

I will look up sensory disorder and have a read over the weekend.

Should I start at the gp? How do you see an OT?

ToffeeWhirl Fri 29-Mar-13 01:33:49

My son has Tourettes and OCD. Tourettes Action says: "For TS to be diagnosed, multiple motor tics and at least one vocal tic must be present over a period of at least twelve months, without a break of more than three months." So your DS is not diagnosable with Tourettes at the moment.

Lots of children have tics without having Tourettes. It can be caused by allergies, especially if it involves sniffing and coughing. Sometimes it's just a phase that children go through.

In my son's case, he had a lot of motor and vocal tics between the ages of three and about nine, then the OCD developed. Now he has fewer tics, but the OCD is bad (interesting to read what AgentZigzag has experienced).

Your description of your son does sound rather like mine, especially with regard to the hyperactive moments and the sensory issues. I still have to cut my son's nails when he's asleep (he's 13 now). I found this book helpful, as it covers the 'syndrome mix' of children with neurological differences, such as Tourettes, ADHD and Aspergers.

However, I'm afraid at this stage it is probably too early to tell what it is. I would still take him to the doctor, but expect a 'wait and see' approach. The important thing is to ignore the tic (difficult, I know). Also, it's important to discuss it with his teacher so that she knows that he's not being disruptive and really can't help his noises.

Really wish I'd seen that programme, but I was out tonight. I'm hoping a friend has recorded it for me. One of the children has exactly the same diagnosis as my son.

ShootingStarsss Fri 29-Mar-13 01:35:12

Agent ds is quirky so I know some things are just down to who he is & his personality, he has his own individual style/ways & it makes him who he is (which I adore)

I am worried about the tic more so for ds because it's annoying him, I also worry about him not being a great sleeper & think these are the things I would like to sort or at least get some understanding of before he moves to secondary school, as I think he will struggle more there.

thornrose Fri 29-Mar-13 01:39:11

GP is a good start, they may refer you to a Child Development Centre for an assessment, that's how we got sessions with an OT.
In our experience the tics became quite distressing so a bit of support can only help.
Good luck.

ShootingStarsss Fri 29-Mar-13 01:39:31

Thank you toffee that is really helpful
I am going to speak to his teacher after Easter break and see if he mentions anything.

I will go to the gp and expect a wait and see at least I have then highlighted my concerns.

The program was very interesting the boys were amazing and what they achieved at the end was fab.

Am going to check your link out.

ShootingStarsss Fri 29-Mar-13 01:40:02

Thank you thornrose smile

ShootingStarsss Fri 29-Mar-13 01:42:27

Toffee I have just purchased that book, it looks great so I will have a read once it arrives, thank you.

AgentZigzag Fri 29-Mar-13 01:49:52

That's the problem with these kinds of behaviours Toffee, that you can get a bit of this and a bit of that with some things which are in the middle.

Which also makes what seems the solution of going to the doctors and getting some kind of diagnosis hard to swallow when there isn't always the answer or solution you thought you might find there.

I've been through phases when I've felt compelled to say things, but in a 'I've said it twice and I've got to say it three times' kind of way rather than an outburst of a word. Maybe a different kind of inappropriate speech IYSWIM.

I just used to pretend people weren't noticing I was doing it Shooting, which of course isn't true (if I can take you saying about him worrying about assembly and starting secondary as saying you're worried about how he'll cope with other people who aren't so 'forgiving' as those at primary?), and that might be why I think gently pointing out they've done it reminds them and can give a measure of control over the tic or whatever.

Noticing it's there and what kinds of times he's doing it might show you if there's a pattern to it? Could you write down when you notice it more than normal?

ShootingStarsss Fri 29-Mar-13 01:55:51

Yes agent that's what I am worried about, or if it becomes louder & more noticeable.

Should I be pointing it out to ds more when he is doing it? I don't do this because I am sure he is aware cause it is constant the throat clearing is there all the time, apart from when he sleeps. It just depends on what is happening etc to how much noise there is around him as it easily drowns out his throat clearing/clucking noise because it's not loud at present.

ShootingStarsss Fri 29-Mar-13 01:57:23

I will start writing it down as well to see if there is any pattern in it, this may help me to see what I might not already be seeing or realising, thank you.

AgentZigzag Fri 29-Mar-13 02:08:58

That's the thing, I can't say for sure whether my mum or dad pointing out I was doing it would have helped me recognise it and find a technique to deal with it so I didn't feel I needed to do it as much, or make me feel even more self conscious (regardless of their motivation) so that the only secure place I could hide away and be myself (at home) was taken away from me.

For DD it worked, possibly because she knew I'd had a problem with it in the past and we'd talked about it in a general way, or (hopefully) because she knew I loved her and was only doing it because she'd said she was feeling self conscious about it rather than me trying to 'correct' her behaviour.

It can be very isolating feeling you don't fit in, and your DS having lots of friends is a massive plus smile there's no reason to think it'll all fall apart just because he's going to secondary, in a lot of ways it's much less judgemental when they move up.

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