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involuntary facial movements and asd

(11 Posts)
othermother Mon 02-Nov-09 09:47:53

I've just received a copy of Tom's (aged 5) observation report from his obs in school. In it it says that he has a variety of facial expressions although at times this seemed to be involuntary facial movement. I'm aware that he does a lot of grimacing and pulls odd faces, but is this a common feature of asd? He's a very ticcy lad, and I find it hard to see some of his behaviours as stims.

Other things they observed were poor grapho motor skills which were out of line with his verbal performance, jumping instead of walking round the classroom, playing alongside other children rather than with them, raising his fist to a girl, putting play items in his mouth, trying to direct other children and finding it difficult to initiate social interactions with his peer group.

I just wondered if anyone else had an asd child who has involuntary facial movements.

claw3 Mon 02-Nov-09 09:53:09

ds pulls his eyelashes and wipes his mouth with the neck of his jumper every few minutes, i suppose that is more of a tic. (he always feels he has something in his eyes and hates having wet or moist lips)

He also does what i can only describe as a yawn, where he opens his mouth and eyes wide.

I should imagine it would be quite common, as ASD children usually have lots of sensory issues too.

othermother Mon 02-Nov-09 09:55:32

Thanks claw3.

Tom does lots of licking and tapping his face and finger twirling, aswell as the grimacing. I just wasn't sure if the grimacing was asd related or not. I'm a total worrywart and often think there might be other issues. I need to chill!!

claw3 Mon 02-Nov-09 10:04:03

Its perfectly natural to worry. My ds has been 'diagnosed' with sensory modulation disorder (its not an official dx in this Country, but a suspected symptom of something else ie ASD)

Most of my ds's behaviour is all related to which of senses are over-responsive, under-responsive or sensory seeking.

My ds never walks, he hops, jumps, skips etc (under-responsive vestibular sense)

He NEVER puts anything in his mouth (over-responsive oral sense) etc, etc.

Well thats my understanding of it all anyhow

othermother Mon 02-Nov-09 10:15:40

I've not heard of sensory modulation disorder before claw3, but I can see how it could be part of asd. I know with Tom that sensory issues are a big thing.

I just found an Australian Aspergers site and it says that facial grimacing is one of the things common to as kids, so that's my fear allayed anyway. (until I find something else to fret over lol)

claw3 Mon 02-Nov-09 10:30:17

The umbrella term for SMD is sensory processing disorder, which you may of heard of. It affects sights, sounds, touch, tastes, smells and movement. Dyspraxia is also another sub of sensory processing disorder.

Anyhow, glad you have put your mind to rest, for now!

mysonben Mon 02-Nov-09 12:53:41

DS is 4 , he does pull odd faces too, a lot of it is with his eyes, such as looking right out of the corners with his eyes, squeezing his eyes, he grins in odd ways sometimes for no reason, and he does a lot of vocal stims, like throat clearing every few minutes, and high pitch whistle noises or humming now and then.
I think it goes with the asd territory wink although it worries me too when on bad days he does constantly (my mum thought DS had tics,...i said to her , not tics! Stims! grin)

HelensMelons Mon 02-Nov-09 16:07:30

My ds2 is the same with the facial grimacing - it gets worse with his adhd meds.

janmumto5 Tue 03-Nov-09 17:34:38

My ds1 aged 10 has just started with faical grimaces he doesnt even know he is doing them!! His nose twitches and his mouth moves at same time really weird and itreally annoys me cos i can see him doing it and can see he really doesnt know he is doing it!!

I mentioned them to his paed today and will be mentioing them to the adhd team on the 3rd december he has adhd and learning difficulties

sphil Tue 03-Nov-09 23:22:40

DS1 has been diagnosed with dyspraxia but I know he also has some AS traits. He has periods of doing this - he pulls his lower jaw down as if he's trying to rub it on his chest. Usually does it when he's particularly tired or ill - and then it goes away again and doesn't come back for months.

mumslife Wed 04-Nov-09 14:10:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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