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Son out of the blue being observed by senco tomorrow. Tourette's??

(19 Posts)
Twingler Tue 28-Mar-17 17:23:00

My son's teacher called me in for an urgent word today and has said that he is going to be observed by the senco in the morning. They have asked that I call gp and ask for referral to Camhs. I am shocked. I raised concerns about my son's behaviour at the last parents evening and have been waiting for a member of staff to get back to me. I asked his teacher whether she had noticed his inability to stop moving and fidgeting. She said she hadn't noticed it at the time. I was more concerned about other things, I hadn't considered anything like this.

He had a cold at Christmas and then seemed to be coughing for ages. Took him to the doctors and they said he was fine. Took him back, still fine. Put on a nose spray for allergies, taken off in case it was irritating his throat. Started on an inhaler in case it was asthma or a wheeze, but every time they listened to his chest or looked at his throat they said it was fine. The cough isn't a cough anymore, it's a throat clearing hissing sound which he does every few seconds. I told him it might be a habit that he's got into and he is making his throat sore by doing it so often, but he told me there is something in his throat and he needs to clear it. His teacher said that his movements were so bad today that he didn't stop at all and 5 members of staff raised concerns about him, including the head who wanted me to be informed today and senco ASAP. I feel really panicked and shocked. On the way home from school he was violently jerking his head back every 5 seconds or so. I've seen him do this before but not so frequently. His teacher said he's also been pulling at the collar of his top and jerking his shoulders. He went through a phase of twitching his nose a lot last year, which I thought was because of possible allergies. That's stopped now, though.

I feel like an idiot for not having considered that the throat clearing was a tic. Even though I had started to think it was a habit. I asked about the head movements and he said he needs to do it cos he has hurt his neck. I am in shock. Is there a chance that this is all just one big misunderstanding? I called my mom in a panic when I got back and she immediately started minimising. I know she's trying to help by saying oh it could be other things, but she did that in the past when he was being investigated for a medical condition and convinced me it was unnecessary. I foolishly believed her and delayed tests but I was wrong, he did have the condition. I need some impartial opinions. And what am I supposed to do? Should I call the GP once I have spoken to the senco? I am surprised at the urgency of the school and it is making me panic. His teacher mentioned Tourette's a few times, though obviously said she is not a doctor and doesn't know. But that's clearly what they're all thinking. It is possible to just have tics sometimes isn't it? The speed at which they seem to have increased has surprised me. And how often he's doing it. I don't know what to think. I almost regret telling my parents cos they mean well and we are close but I know they'll start with things and I just don't want to be dealing with it right now.

zzzzz Tue 28-Mar-17 17:31:35

Of course it can be tics. Ds has tics on and off. The important thing is to be calm and not to draw attention to them. School sound utterly unhelpful and hysterical. HUGE numbers of children have tics, if they hang around and become troublesome it's called "tic disorder", if some of them are verbal (including throats clearing) it's called "Tourette's " but it's the same thing. MOST grow out of it.

zzzzz Tue 28-Mar-17 17:34:41

Remove as much stress as possible and add some relaxing long baths etc. See the GP and they will probably refer you in to CAMHs but only because the helpful drugs have side effects so they tend to try CBT first (teaching you to relax and ignore), but they are just as likely to say wait for 6 months first.

Is his teacher very young?

Twingler Tue 28-Mar-17 18:10:07

Thanks, I will try not to get too worked up about it but the school suddenly doing this has made me panic. His teacher is fairly young but it was apparently the head who insisted on the urgency. She noticed him during assembly this morning. She's not young. His teacher mentioned teaching another boy diagnosed with Tourette's so perhaps she has it in mind as a result of that. Walking home with him today was quite shocking, the throat clearing and head jerking were almost constant and I've never seen that before. I'd never even considered the throat clearing as a tic but he is doing it every few seconds throughout the day.

Twingler Tue 28-Mar-17 18:12:32

I have been ignoring the throat clearing as much as possible because I thought it was a habit he'd got into and I didn't want to draw attantion to it and make him more likely to do it. No idea what would have set it off more today but he said he was feeling tired.

zzzzz Tue 28-Mar-17 18:24:56

Give him a hot drink or a really cold one wink. Say nothing and watch some telly. Honestly I think it was one in 4 children do it at some stage. It's nearly the holidays, get him lots of rest and it will probably stop soon.

Twingler Tue 28-Mar-17 18:43:05

Is it normal for a tic to come on this suddenly? I've never really seen him moving his head like this before and he hasn't stopped it yet. He's still doing it over and over almost constantly. Been to gymnastics and did it all the way through. I haven't said anything to him about it and he doesn't seem to realise he's doing it. He must be making his neck so sore, his voice is already hoarse from months of constant throat clearing.

DaisyBlameless Tue 28-Mar-17 18:48:16

Tics can get worse when a child is tired or stressed, and can occur suddenly.

I wouldn't panic, but would book a gp appointment to see if feel he needs a referral.

pandyandy1 Tue 28-Mar-17 19:12:34

I had these types of tics as a child. Sometimes a head nod, sometimes a throat clear, sometimes a nose twitch. Even now as an adult I can all of a sudden develop a tic that feels 'compulsory' to do (though this is now infrequent and I am more in control of it and it doesn't last long.)
I have no idea why I did this as a child...though I do know on one occasion when the teacher pulled me to one side about a particular tic, (at say 8,) it became much worse because I then became super conscious of it!
I believe ignoring my tics and just concentrating on other things stopped/stops them.
No idea if linked but from a young age I suffered anxiety with ocd type traits. Is your DS anykind of a little worrier?
Whether or not, as somebody else suggested...make no fuss, tell the school the same (!) and visit your GP for a chat (without) your son.

Let us know how it goes tomorrow.

zzzzz Tue 28-Mar-17 19:37:41

Warm bath might sooth the neck. Ds's came from nowhere and stormed for about 6 weeks, but now just a little flurry every couple of months. Like previous poster he thinks hard of other things. He has asked me not to talk about them as he then gets a lot for a few days. Tell school not to draw attention to them.

Twingler Tue 28-Mar-17 19:41:56

Yeah, I did wonder about the GP visit. I really don't want to say anything about it in front of him. He is an anxious child in some ways. I've had a few threads on here about Jimmy recently but under a different username. General consensus was to take him to the GP because his behaviour isn't normal. Not just the anxiety, various things. I felt that it was a bit OTT and it's just the way he is. He exhausts me though. I thought he would have grown out of a lot of it by 9 but he hasn't. Perhaps all of this together is enough of a reason to talk to a doctor. His teacher said it could all be linked, because tics aren't what I actually raised with her.

Twingler Tue 28-Mar-17 19:43:10

Him, not Jimmy! Not his name btw, just a typo.

youarenotkiddingme Tue 28-Mar-17 19:43:12

100% agree with zzzzz. The schools hysteria is not going to help him as tics are often anxiety routed.

I think some CBT maybe useful. My ds has had his initial consult and begins his actual CBT next week. He has a compulsion to hit himself on the head when he's stressed.

(Although he told the psychologist it was because he can't punch the person that's pissed him off hmmshockgrin)

tartanterror Tue 28-Mar-17 20:00:27

The school sound concerned, but if they are drawing attention to things they may be helping to perpetuate it. My DS had a throat clearing tic this winter. It started as a sniff but people kept offering him tissues, so it changed to throat clearing and went on for a few months. It stopped a few weeks ago as suddenly as it had started! He has an ASD diagnosis.

If you are concerned about a few things and want to seek a referral, I would suggest making an appointment with your GP and go alone without your DS to speak freely - or take your OH who can bring him in at an appropriate point in the appointment (otherwise you will probably have to come back another time without him). Try filming him subtly to get examples to show the doctor. Ask for a CAMHS referral - in our area it would be the "neuro pathway" which would cover ASD/ADHD/Tourette's etc. At all stages you can choose not to discuss things in front of your DS if you are not ready - you just need to ask/arrange someone to look after your child as for some reason separate interviews are not offered as standard.

Good luck

Twingler Tue 28-Mar-17 20:37:43

Thanks. I don't think he has asd. It's more like he is unable to ever stop moving and there's is a real intensity and over the top quality to everything he does. He overreacts to everything, seems to respond to lots of things with anger, just doesn't ever stop moving at home and is totally incapable of doing anything alone unless it involves a screen. He flits between activities and things don't generally hold his attention. It's difficult to explain. He follows me from room to room and has no real hobbies other than playing computer games and watching TV. He will lie on the floor and shout and cry rather than do anything by himself. He is very confident and can easily approach children and make friends but it's more like he has to do it and is obsessed with being with other people. Maybe he is just very sociable... I worry about him as an adult, he never seems content to be alone. He also doesn't seem able to rest. He was in reception when I first spoke to a teacher about my concerns and she seemed stunned when I said I was concerned he didn't have an imagination (since he didn't do anything by himself). I observed him at school and could see him doing loads of imaginative play but it was with other children. I assumed he would gradually want to do his own thing but it hasn't happened. So the constant movement and fidgeting was something I mentioned but never tics. And none of this has ever seemed bad enough to go to the GP with. I tell myself it is just his personality and I'm not going to have him believe that his personality is wrong.

Twingler Tue 28-Mar-17 20:39:51

Those things I've mentioned don't seem to be a problem a school btw, he gets on with his work just fine, so I believe he can control it. Parenting him has totally drained me at times. Other children don't seem to be this way.

zzzzz Wed 29-Mar-17 06:28:11

It's often seen with ADHD and/or OCD. If you do feel your ds is unusually active why haven't you seen his GAp about it?

Twingler Wed 29-Mar-17 07:51:36

It's never seemed that bad and I didn't know what it would achieve. The things other people talk about seem much worse than anything my son does. He is very similar to his dad who hasn't been diagnosed with anything and just doesn't stop talking or fidgeting. His dad also has anger issues and a constant need to be entertained. But my son isn't angry at school, he concentrates and gets on with his work just fine according to his teachers. It always feels like I'm just moaning about his personality and I don't want him to think there's anything wrong with the way he is. His big blow up reactions are only usually to do with his dad letting him down but he's going through a phase again where he doesn't react so badly to it sad He can definitely concentrate on tv or games and I have to strictly limit them!

AntiQuitted Wed 29-Mar-17 13:49:26

I'm in my 40's and have tics since I was little, both vocalisation (sounds in back of throat) and muscle tics (from little just squeezing, flicking, blinking to smacking myself with my elbow). Whenever attention in drawn to them it makes them much worse. In fact just reading this thread has brought on some mild twitches. At school when I was 13 I remember my shoulder shrugging being so bad that I had constant pain across them. I did internet diagnose myself with Tourette's when I was in my late 20's but I believe the difference is with Tourette's there is no control whereas I can do smaller movements or wait until they're more easily hidden to let go.

Hopefully this will get help for the other issues which sound like more of a problem. But don't panic about the tics themselves. I know at my worst I may look disturbing if someone saw them but it relieves the internal pressure and compulsion so I can't see them as bad. Well, not until they cause muscle ache!

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