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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.

My child has developed a vocal tic, I am really worried

(21 Posts)
JellyBellies Sun 11-Feb-18 08:25:32

Hi,
DS1, who us 8 has suddenly developed a vocal tic. He has to make a squeaking noise in this throat. He says it started on Wednesday. It was in full force by yesterday evening. He struggled to sleep last night and fell asleep crying because of it.

I am seriously scared. What do I do? I can take him to the gp tomorrow but will they be able to help him?

LuxuryMilk Sun 11-Feb-18 08:30:37

I’m no expert but I wouldn’t panic. I’d try and stay fairly calm about it in front of him and not react every time he does it. I’d also look at subtly distracting him when it starts up. See if you can get him to focus on something else.

Lots of love and reassurance for him too obviously.

Imfinehowareyou Sun 11-Feb-18 08:40:04

Don't try to make him stop. He can't stop it and it will stress him out. You have to try your hardest to ignore it. My eldest DC suffers and it comes and goes. It is bloody hard to ignore and is frustrating for everyone so I feel for you all. The NHS website gives good advice. This is a pretty common childhood thing.

stressedoutfred Sun 11-Feb-18 08:50:42

Try and keep calm, tics are fairly common in childhood. If you can ( and I know this is hard!) try and ignore it and hopefully it'll go away thanks

Blankscreen Sun 11-Feb-18 08:57:52

My Ds gets tics that come and go. He's also 8. He's been having them for a couple of years and one has just come out in the last couple of days.

More related to his eyes. It it does my head in.

I know it will go, it has in the past but I still feel anxious every time.
I was reading up last night (again) and honestly just try and ignore it. Bloody hard I know.

Blankscreen Sun 11-Feb-18 08:59:31

There isn't really anything the gp can or will do and might make him feel more self conscious about it.

JellyBellies Sun 11-Feb-18 09:11:49

Thank you for all the reassurance.

Not intending to drip feed but one of the reasons I am so worried is that he has been unsettled for the last one year since he moved schools. The situation got really bad at one point, the Educational psychologist was involved. He now does a private therapy session once a week and the whole thing is going really well. He had fears and anxiety around school that we are working through. He is almost complete settled at school and we thought that this was it.
And now this, I really wasn't expecting it.

Its making me wonder if instead of the anxiety going away it's just masked and coming back as a tic?

headinhands Sun 11-Feb-18 09:20:23

Gosh yes. Don't panic. Don't let him see you fretting. Ds has had some tics on and off over the years. The best one was a full on face gurn. Just be matter of fact with him 'it's called a tic, they're very common in boys, it'll most likely stop after a week or so.' Don't make it a big thing for him. And in the meantime call your HV or school nurse. Most likely they'll say same as what I've said and ask you to just wait and see.

headinhands Sun 11-Feb-18 09:22:45

I've volunteered in a year 3/4 class and there were quite a few tic-ing away at any one point grin

Forgeteverythingandremember Sun 11-Feb-18 09:27:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JellyBellies Sun 11-Feb-18 12:01:23

That's everyone. I have told him that is can happen and it will go away. We aren't making it a big deal to him, he is happily playing with his brother.

I feel a lot less worried now, I did realise I'd was so common.

MidnightVelvetthe7th Sun 11-Feb-18 12:10:26

My DS1 has had tics from when he was 4, he is now 12 & still has them. He has facial ones such as screwing his face up, opening his eyes really wide & making a 'long' face.

He also has verbal ones, he has squeaking, clearing his throat, coughing, making a short sound at the same pitch such as eek eek etc etc they come & go & change every couple of weeks.

I took him to the GPs last year who referred him to CAHMS but CAHMS said there was nothing to be done about them.

We ignore them, I was worried about him at school, particularly in a quiet classroom but its not worrying him. He says he doesn't know they are happening so he can't stop them. I'm glad your son is feeling better about school, I'm sure the tics will pass smile

Sparkletastic Sun 11-Feb-18 14:03:35

DD had one that went on for about a year. Drove me to distraction not reacting to it. Then it gradually decreased and stopped altogether.

frozenlake Sun 11-Feb-18 14:08:30

My DS similar age had one, it drove me nuts until I really focused on ignoring it, this thread has made me realise it has completely disappeared and has been gone for while.

LemonysSnicket Sun 11-Feb-18 17:03:09

I had loads of weird tics at around his age - blinking weirdly, stretching my mouth which caused the corners to split.

I’d let him do it, don’t tell him to stop or bring it up. He’ll probably soon forget about it and the tic will stop.

JellyBellies Sun 11-Feb-18 19:26:03

Do the tics get worse in the evening and around bedtime? He was fine most of the day. But once he sat down for dinner and after that it was back with a vengeance.

Snowonsnow Mon 12-Feb-18 01:22:12

Tiredness or stress both made them worse, they have gone though (for now!)

StillNoWuckinFurries Mon 12-Feb-18 01:47:10

Has he been unwell lately Jelly? There is a condition called PANDAS that can be brought on by strep throat - can bring on a sudden onset of tics, OCD etc. May be worth looking into if the connection is there.
I hope it clears as quickly as it came for him.

Forgeteverythingandremember Mon 12-Feb-18 07:12:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

user1472377586 Mon 12-Feb-18 07:43:54

Hi, my eldest had one at a similar age. It went away - when the source of the stress / anxiety leaves.

The doctor advised that:
- verbal tics go away.
- common in boys
- 7/8 is the prime age to develop it.
- not nag / tell him to stop it (as this would increase anxiety).

My son had just changed to a new school. He was experiencing bullying (but I didn't know about it at that time). He was utterly bored in class most of the time.

The ban on demanding that the verbal tic has to stop does not mean that you have to pretend that he is not making the noise. I had a very relaxed, quiet chat with him about his 'funny noise'.

He told me that to deal with the boredom at school he would get a repetitive rhythm going in his head (ignoring his teacher / other children etc) and that the noise was part of the rhythm and that it just came out sometimes.

The doctor had quietly let me know that if it doesn't stop after a year or so it develops into Tourettes. I was terrified because my son was so intense, clever & didn't really fit into the routines / sports carnivals / house points systems of school.

I was very careful not to increase his anxiety but I gently let my son know that if he had any control at all over his noise, he must stop it coming out. Because if he didn't grow out of it he would be not able to do science at uni because it would be too disturbing for the other students.
The noise stopped shortly afterwards.

FWIW my son is now 11, in high school and is having a wonderful time. No anxiety, no verbal tics.

If your son is like mine was, it means that there is something 'wrong' in his environment. For my son, year 3 and year 4 were so utterly boring. My son was stressed with having to go to school and having to fit in - having to sit on the mat and listen to the other children, having to 'learn' how to add up in columns for weeks and weeks on end.

We turned a corner when I emailed his class teacher and begged her to let my son have more interesting maths. She arranged for my E and a few other children to be pulled out into an extension class. This gave E something to look forward to as he was not bored in extension maths. One area of adjustment makes for a happier child..... the need to compensate with verbal tic left.

I hope it clears for you son.

headinhands Mon 12-Feb-18 14:40:26

Because if he didn't grow out of it he would be not able to do science at uni

I wouldn't be comfortable lying to my child like that. Are you actually saying that you don't think people with Tourette's should be able to access HE?? Christ I hope to god not.

You know what it reminds me of? When a TA told a child with ASD that he couldn't stim at high school or people would think he was weird. It's like saying 'you can't be in a wheelchair or people will think your different.'

We need to educate society about differences not demand we all fit a narrow band of normality. It's like going back to the 70's when shit like children with Down's were institutionalised.

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