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What is the difference between a vocal stim and a vocal tic?

(18 Posts)
mysonben Mon 12-Oct-09 22:24:07

Hi, DS is nearly 4 and mild asd.
He has a few vocal stims, mainly humming and low grunting.
For the past three weeks he has started making this new sound: like fairly loud throat clearing noise.
He does it daily, sometimes an awful lot, sometimes not too bad.
He will do it while playing, walking , eating, at random times, and also while talking and often does it when finishing to talk.

My mum (who does not know too much about asd btw) reckons it's almost like a tic for him!??? hmm
I thought tics were more common with tourettes.

And DS has asd, so could it be a stim?
What do you think? Anyone with an asd child who is doing that too?

I'm a bit worried as DS 's previous stims were not regular, but this new noise is.


mysonben Mon 12-Oct-09 23:00:59

Don't think i wrote the right title for this thread. hmm
Should have said "Worried about new vocal stim!!!"
I'm probably a fool for worrying over that new noise , but the frequency of it is alarming me and DH.


wasuup3000 Mon 12-Oct-09 23:10:14

My ds aged 5 did this for about 3 months and then stopped. He went onto to chewing anything in sight instead. He has now started to nip me with his teeth when he is excited-I hope that one doesn't last!! He has been diagnosed with dyspraxia so far, assessment is still ongoing. There is/was a tourettes website with a list of what to look out for.

mysonben Mon 12-Oct-09 23:37:45

Thanks Wasuup3000.
i will stick with my belief that it is probably only just another stim and not a tic.
I will not listen to my mum who is well meaning, but bless her doesn't know much about stims , asd,...
I think if i venture on the tourettes website i will start worrying over new things i may read!shock That is just me...the ott worrier unfortunately. wink

wasuup3000 Tue 13-Oct-09 09:44:04

Anytime! I think for tourettes to be diagnosed there has to be a certain number of vocal and physical tics happening at around the same time.

wasuup3000 Tue 13-Oct-09 09:47:34

I forgot to say we have had the humming which then progressed to him buzzing. There are so many different and new things that take you by surprise just after you think you have got iit sussed!

mysonben Tue 13-Oct-09 15:08:13

Cheers, yes you're right it isn't just vocal tics with tourettes but physical ones too.
I plucked up courage to go and check out their website.
I was worrying for nothing really. This new throat noise is probably just another stim only more noticable than the others because it's louder and more frequent.
He'll probably do a new one before long! wink

nappyaddict Fri 16-Oct-09 16:47:43

What sort of things are physical tics?

mysonben Sat 17-Oct-09 15:04:17

I don't know a lot about tics and Tourettes but usually physical tics are unvoluntary body movements such as: scrunching of the face, twisting/bending of head to side, shoulder roll, arm or leg sudden jerk,... tics can be any sort of sudden physical movements, so a vast amount of different tics really.

nappyaddict Sun 18-Oct-09 02:57:10

DS has both verbal and physical tics but only ASD has ever been considered before, never tourettes. Now not sure what to think.

mysonben Sun 18-Oct-09 14:54:46

hmm, asd children can have both vocal and physical stims, since my mum made that comment about DS's throat noise being like a tic, i've tried to understand what is the difference between stims and tics, although i'm no expert, i understand that tics are much more frequent than stims, and are totally unvoluntary ie: the person with tics will struggles tremendously if trying to stop the tics, if near impossible to do it for much amount of time, whereas stims are more controlable as long as as the person stimming has good awareness of it and agrees to try to stop the stims, iyswim?
Apart from: the stims versus tics symptoms, Tourettes and ASD are quite different if you consider the asd triad of impairments, that Tourettes don't have (unless they have asd on top of Tourettes), but both disorders can have a partner in crime : OCD.

A bit confusing isn't it???
I wouldn't worry as in my opinion usually Tourettes would be spotted by professionals more easily than ASD in my opinion.
Hope this helps a bit. wink

mysonben Sun 18-Oct-09 15:06:23

Here just thought of this answer, Stims are usually due to under or over sensory issues , stim is short for stimulatory , asd people stim cause they seek the stim for various reasons almost (it's hard to explain).
But Tourettes tics are totally unvoluntary, the person isn't ticcing for sensory stimulating, and as a result has little or no control over tics.

nappyaddict Mon 19-Oct-09 01:10:34

Hmmm DS appear to be totally unvoluntary but he is only 3 so can't really be aware of trying to control them yet.

stillfrustrated Tue 20-Oct-09 11:06:21

my DS (ASD) also does this A LOT. He also does what we call "The OOIE OOIE OOS" sort of like a fire engine sound but with a bit of tune to it

mysonben Tue 20-Oct-09 11:22:14

Yes my DS does that fire engine sound too! And also sounds like car noises but a a bit monotonous like, it 's a cross between a low "humming" and "buzzing". A ctually these sounds are more annoying to hear than the throat one! wink

stillfrustrated Tue 20-Oct-09 14:36:14

with regard to physical stims, my ds also does this thing with his hands when really excited, he sort of flaps his fingers together in front of his face, just wondered if anyone else has experience of this.

mysonben Tue 20-Oct-09 14:39:33

Yes my DS does that too when he is excited or very upset, he brings his hands chest level and moves his fingers fast in an odd way. We call it the 'twirly fingers' wink

mysonben Tue 20-Oct-09 14:45:45

He was doing the twirly fingers at nursery the other day and a couple of the children there asked the teacher why he was doing that!
The teacher said he was doing it 'cause he was very happy! wink

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