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Head shaking

(11 Posts)
Claw3 Thu 14-Jul-11 21:03:22

Ds has recently started to shake his head from side to side in a jerky movement, usually when he is sat lining things up. He is currently sat across the table from me, playing with a chess set, well lining the pieces up and rearranging them and he gets very cross with me, if i look at him while he is doing this and tells me to stop looking.

He has had various tics and verbal tics which come and go.

Previous OT seems to think its a sensory thing, CAMHS think its an anxiety thing. Or perhaps a bit of both?

Anyone else have tics or any ideas on what causes them?

metimenow Thu 14-Jul-11 21:22:49

My son had head nodding, blinkinking, shoulder shrugging, clicking and whistling tics. His tics were mainly caused by anxiety he has autism and adhd. We were advised not to say anything and just let him do them. There is an overlap with conditions like autism, adhd and toureettes. He was assessed for toureettes when he was younger but they couldnt be sure. His tics are still evident now when he is stressed. Has your ds got dx for anything ? Does he do his tics at school ?

Claw3 Thu 14-Jul-11 21:43:24

He has a dx of ASD and SPD. He was doing the verbal one at school and also a hand movement one, the school didnt tell me, but he was observed doing them during assessments by various professionals, so i suspect he is doing this one too and school probably just dont notice.

He is very anxious, he also has lots of sensory difficulties.

I think he is aware that he is doing it as he tells me to stop looking at him or perhaps he isnt aware that he is doing it until i look at him, im not sure!

metimenow Thu 14-Jul-11 21:57:19

My ds was aware that he was doing it most of the time. He might not want you to look because he realises it is different. My ds hated it when he had a TA who would tell him to stop even though the advice was to ignore. Is you ds in mainstream ? is he getting enough help ? Sometimes when they dont get enough help it makes them anxious and the tics become worse. Sometimes I think my son just likes the repetive action that comes with the tics.

Claw3 Thu 14-Jul-11 22:17:17

Yes he is mainstream and no he isnt getting enough help, we have just been to tribunal and lost unfortunately.

You figured out he wasnt getting enough help after 2 posts, school and LA couldnt do that with all reports and a tribunal smile

Ds likes the repetitive action too, he usually contains repetitive hand movements to colouring in or lining things up as this more acceptable i suppose. Yes i think your right, the tics are kind of an extention of the repetitive lining up, perhaps when he is stressed more than usually.

Sometimes things are so obvious, but it just takes someone else to point you in the right direction, thanks.

fusia Sat 16-Jul-11 00:07:30

My 7yr old son (ASD) also has bad twitches.have got reeeally exagerated since school closed 2weeks ago:blinking&winking,head twitches,shoulders,arms twitch like chicken impression,wrist turning,jumping constantly.he gets awful looks from everyone when we're out and even family seem uncomfortable seeing him do it.sometimes head twitches get worse when hair needs cut.does your son have hair around ears,neck and face that might be tickling him?i have noticed severity of ticks lessening after haircut.

Claw3 Sat 16-Jul-11 09:30:51

No he always has short hair. Its more of a head shake, than a twitch iyswim, its like an exagerated shaking his head for 'no', from side to side about 6 times really quickly, every couple of minutes and he seems to do it when sitting still. Thats what made me think it might be a sensory thing.

He seems to do it a lot, when doing other repetitive behaviours of lining things up, so perhaps a calming this too.

Claw3 Sat 16-Jul-11 09:31:47

Calming thing not this!

coff33pot Sat 16-Jul-11 12:24:32

My DS doesnt head shake but he rolls his eyes up into his head so it looks like he doesnt have any. It went away for a while but has come back worse this time. He says if he doesnt do it he cant see properly or his eyes are "itching" then we get a few nights where he cant sleep because his eyes are hurting according to him. Wether its the fact he has strained the eye muscles I dont know.

It is worse if under pressure or as an example he went on a fair ride this week where you sat in a swing chair and it spun round. He was in his element and laughing but his eyes were all over the place.

We have also gone through phases of the necessity to gulp all the time. His sister asked him to stop and he was upset because he said if he stopped he would choke. That lasted two days only though and then back to eyes.

fusia Sat 16-Jul-11 12:47:43

I have suffered with twitches all my life-don't know the reason for it-its horrible when people say they notice it.very embarassing but i can't stop it or help it.i do the eye rolling thing sometimes and also strange twitches in my throat.all i can tell you is that if i don't do it it nearly drives me crazy-like theres a psycological need to do it and 95% of the time your not even aware of doing it,likes its just a habit your body has and can't cope without.it's strange and i wish there was an easy way to stop.can make the affected muscles very sore and generaly embarrassing.

fusia Sat 16-Jul-11 12:52:10

About the head shaking-i remember talking to an O.T. about this and it has something to do with the centre of gravity in the head-for some it feels nice to disturb this by head shaking.it's probably a phase and if you ignore it'll no doubt go away after a couple months.
however i think my sons head shaking was more to do with his hair tickling him as it calmed down after getting it cut.

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