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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.

When is a 'tic' just a 'tic' or something more?

(12 Posts)
Chooster Sun 23-Aug-09 21:20:18

Ds1 (5) has recently had a few odd tics at various points over the last couple of years. We've had persistent throat clearing, odd shoulder shrugging, stuttering and now strange facial expresions and noises - the only way I can describe it is him saying "mmm, eh, oh, mmm, eee, ohh" that sort of thing over an over. All the previous little oddities have only lasted for a month of two and this latest thing is only about 2 weeks old... and the noises are mainly at night (story time) or when he's tired - so its not constant through the day and if he's watching telly or something he is concentrating on then he doesn't do it.

So I guess my question is are these still in the normal spectrum of behaviour. I've had a little look at tourettes and it says that the tics need to last about a year solid before classed as anything in this area.

Apart from these little quirks he's a friendly, articulate, funny and affectionate little guy.

Does anyone have any experience with these things? Do I just keep ignoring them?

Chaotica Sun 23-Aug-09 21:30:24

Doesn't sound like anything to worry about but I wouldn't ignore it completely - he may think that no-one else can hear (and maybe finds it a bit comforting). Perhaps you could say something gently (you'll probably soon find out if they're involuntary).

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Sun 23-Aug-09 21:37:28

Have you heard of something called Tourettes? It's basically excess energy that the body can't use so it's released as a tic or a twitch or a blink, sometimes a full jerk or a word, it can range in severity. There really is not anything he can do to help this, ignoring it is best as it can be worse if he's upset/stressed or concentrating. Playing an instrument can help. Tourettes isn't always the shouting of swear words. smile
Do see the GP though, school wise it can help if he has a diagnosis, people can be incredibly intolerant at times.

Chooster Mon 24-Aug-09 19:11:34

Thanks both - I did read up on tourettes but it says that the tic needs to last up to a year and be consistent for it to be classed as this. DS1's odd behaviour just tends to last a month or two really and then it goes only to be replaced by something a few months later. Just wondering if other kids have these things? I'll maybe post on behaviour as well?

hatwoman Mon 24-Aug-09 19:42:30

there's also chronic tic disorder. which is a not particularly helpful/enlightening label. (and that link isn't that helpful either - but I couldn't immediately see much more on it). I know a child with this - she was seen by a neurologist after being refered by the GP. They were told there was nothing that could be done/needed to be done. They were told it was nothing to worry about - certainly not something to make a big deal of, esp to the kid. They were also told it would probably continue - and could get a bit worse around puberty. I think, in your shoes, I probably would take him to a gp - just to set my mind at rest.

hatwoman Mon 24-Aug-09 19:47:38

this is a tiny bit more informative - but not much. but says, again, it's nothing to worry about.

BrigitBigKnickers Mon 24-Aug-09 19:58:57

My DD went through phases a bit like this when she was younger (Between the ages of about 3 and 8 if my memory serves me correctly.)

We had spates of persistent throat clearing and exaggerated blinking. She's now 13 and seems to have grown out of it.

trefusis Mon 24-Aug-09 20:12:34

Message withdrawn

Chooster Mon 24-Aug-09 21:02:25

Thanks all - I've looked at the links and it sounds like DS may have transient tic disorder as his tics only last for a couple of months at most and he does have intervals where he doesn't have any. I'll see how this one develops I think and see how long it lasts and take it from there although the general consensus seems to be ignore it and dont draw attention to it.

Thanks again everyone!

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Mon 24-Aug-09 22:36:18

Tourettes can come and go, it's often worse at times of stress. I've seen children with this, I trained as a paeds nurse, alot of symptoms come and go, changing from tics to jerks, then jerks and sounds. There was one lad that used to click his fingers.

My brother has tourettes, his comes ang goes. He had years with body jerks and noises (he sounded like a whale at times), then nothing for years, it came back, went again and now is back.

deaddei Wed 26-Aug-09 21:44:02

Chooster- my dd (12) has really bad tics - we had head bobbing a few weeks ago, this month it's blinking which is so bad. I was convinced she had Tourettes, and she has been diagnosed with ocd- she tries so hard to control it at school.
It is very distressing, but I feel it's something a lot of children go through and subsequently grow out of.
I can cope for so long, then I have to walk out of the room, as it really gets on my nerves and also I find it upsetting. It must be horrible for her.

completelyshotpelvicfloor Wed 16-Sep-09 20:33:10

Chooster -

My DD(5) was at doctor today regarding hangover from ear infection and I mentioned her tics (turning head to left repeatedly, throat clearing) that have been around for about five weeks (although has had other little things going on for a longer time - humming etc).

GP said not to worry, keep an eye on it etc. Reckons that it could be something that she started to do during the ear infection and now has got into a habit. Could this be something that your DS might be doing?

Problem is that the head turning makes it look like she is not listening/concentrating and she is still a bit muffled in one ear so seems to be distracted in class.

GP said that he would write a note for me to take to teacher which I thought was a wonderful idea - it basically just points out that this is an involuntary (and hopefully temporary) thing and that teacher should basically cut DD a little slack for a month or so until this clears up. Don't you just love the NHS?

PS I agree with deaddei - I find it completely maddening to watch the tics going on and have to stop myself getting cross - ARGH. Tic family support group anyone?

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