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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Son starting to tick/twitch

(8 Posts)
united4ever Sun 05-Mar-17 21:25:55

Hi, about a month or two ago my 7 year old son started making these funny involuntary facial movements. Some of it is lifting his eyebrows right up for a minute, maybe his eyes rolling up into his eyelids for a second, sometimes a twitch of a cheek. He also takes sharp intakes of breath as if he is about to hold his breath before diving under water (but exhales immediately)...but he will do this every 30 seconds or so when doing nothing in particular.

He was sniffing with the same frequency even when his nose was clear but my wife spoke to him and he did stop but it seems to have been replaced with the sharp intake of breath thing instead.

I guess it happens more at times he might feel stressed but he does it pretty much anytime and all the time from what I can tell - even when we are reading bed time story when I am pretty sure he is relaxed.

I don't know whether speaking to him about it will just make it worse. We have parents evening tomorrow so I may ask his teacher what she thinks.

He has nothing especially stressful going on in his life besides the usual things of modern childhood but he is a worrier and pretty shy. Is this something that most kids grow out of. Do we speak to him about it? If so, what to say? Any advice?

Badhairday1001 Sun 05-Mar-17 21:45:17

All 3 of my children have had ticks at one time or another. My sons last one involved standing on one leg, while sniffing and jerking his head to the side. They have all grown out of them but they have all happened at times of tiredness/stress. I think they just run in my family my sister also used to do similar as a child. I teach children with SEN and teach quite a few children with Tourette's, as far as I know tics have to be present for 12 months (the tics often change though and don't need to be every day and there needs to be at least one vocal tic (sniffing/ clearing throat count). I would just watch and see, loads of children have tics but most are transient and just disappear on their own.

PJ67 Sun 05-Mar-17 23:33:04

My 3 sons have all had tics as well. My 16 yr old had them on and off from age 2 to 7 ish. My middle ds, now 11 still has some occasionally but better than they were and my youngest, age 7 has had a few tics on and off. They've all had the ones you describe, facial twitching, sniffing and deep breathing, I used to be very anxious about them but am more relaxed now. The chances are he will eventually grow out of them. I think it does make it worse to draw attention to them, you are beets going to another room if you feel it's really bothering you. I also think it affected my relationship a bit with my older son as I used to ask him to try to stop it and this annoyed him. Might be worth entwining to the teacher, just to let them know you're aware of it and that you are trying just to ignore it.

shewolfmum Mon 06-Mar-17 22:56:28

I was talking to a mum who looked into diet for her son and it almost cleared by removing gluten and anything processed. May not be right for you but worth investigation?

Noitsnotteatimeyet Tue 07-Mar-17 14:54:58

All three of mine have had tics - my eldest had very severe tics starting from when he was about 2, lots of different facial grimaces, forced blinking, gasping for breath, throat clearing, arms and legs shooting out suddenly. He also had lots of compulsive behaviours - running from door to sofa over and over again, needing to even things out (i.e. If someone brushed past him in the corridor he'd have to balance it out by brushing past something with his other side). His were severe enough for him to be diagnosed with Tourette's however when he hit puberty all the tics disappeared. He's still got symptoms of OCD but manages on sertraline. Drawing attention to the tics made them much worse so ignore as much as possible if you can. His tics had no rhyme or reason to them and no definitive correlation with stress.

Ds2 had stimming behaviours for years which looked very like tics at times but they made him feel better (he has ASD)

And dd used to clear her throat constantly during the early years of primary school but stopped by the time she was 8 or 9

We've got so used to tics in my family that it's become no big deal - you do end up spotting tics in people who often don't even realise they're doing them though!

Noitsnotteatimeyet Tue 07-Mar-17 14:55:33

PS there's zero evidence that diet makes any difference at all

shewolfmum Tue 07-Mar-17 15:31:57

There is evidence...a parent...that works for me..worth a try in my opinion

shewolfmum Tue 07-Mar-17 15:34:02

Gut health plays a massive role in many physical and psychological issues you don't need to look for to see this

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