Tics, some sort of siezure, or jus a stimulant?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Wee has been increasingly doing some odd things. I've spoken briefly to his teacher about it, and she's seeing it, too.

    Is there a way to distinguish a tic or an involuntary movement from a stimulant or just a habit?

    In situations where before he would get frustrated or angry, he rubs at his face, back of his head, and ears. As his teacher says, like he's trying to rub them off. Really intense rubbing or scratching.

    While watching tv or otherwise "dully" occupied, he often will "show his teeth" - like he is clenching his teeth, but also exposing as much of them as possible - over and over and over, and seems to be oblivious to the fact he's doing it.

    The noise levels have been increasing, also. Just random noises.

    We've been wondering for a while what we've got here....any ideas?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Pure, natural habits don't increase over time. At least, not that I've been exposed to.

    In addition to your list, there could be a bit of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) at work... replacing one action (anger) with another (rubbing) doesn't remove the source of the compulsion, just makes it a bit more socially acceptable.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Tough one.

    Is he taking any medications that would cause tics?

    Otherwise, my first thought would be stimming....
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I don't know...

    My son developed a habit of chewing on his clothing at about that age. It would show up when he was very frustrated, but also when he was "dully engaged"....and I do think it was a way of venting some of his school frustration because it was definitely worse on stressful days.
  5. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Recent medication change? Sounds like a tic but only a doctor could rule out seizures for sure. I have a kid in my class right now who seems to get these no matter what medication.-he's been on 3 now this school year and had levels adjusted as well. He's been on medications since Kindergarden. We tried no medications (ADHD disaster for him and peers). Not sure what the doctor. will decide- he is having an eeg over this break.
  6. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Ok reread post and saw no medications listed. My daughter has a funny thing she does-even at 17 been going on since infanthood. She fists her hands up and shakes them near her nose and makes a humming sound when she gets super exited or happy. pediatrician. called it motor overflow-said it would go away over-time. Only time it was gone was when she took medications. for adhd. She is embarrassed by it now of course and tries to supress by shaking her hands by her side.
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    He takes risperdal and Depakote. No changes in them, though.

    When he was little, Wee would take his hands and make them move like you do if you make your hands "talk" like a puppet. If he was excited, he would do this. The more excited he was, the higher his hands went and the faster they went. The rubbing seems to happen in place of the hands and in situations that used to stress him - like being corrected.

    Daisy, he used to eat clothes. Thankfully that is one that has gone away. He would literally chew giant holes in his shirts.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Q rubs his head, like he is feeling his hair in circles, scratches when in a new place especially, makes noises loud squeals, throat coughs or clearing, and of course as you all know the verbal stuff..... I can clearly see how a variety of emotions can cause it to happen more but it also happens just when sitting around at times. Tics dont mean they have NO control, just like when you have an itch and you can control not scratching but it can make you crazy not to scratch it.... and the itch can feel worse. Or sometimes it might pass but not usually. I have struggled with this a lot over the years especially when he picks up a verbal sound or word, or even an action that is exactly what he has seen or heard from another kid. (that is how he started a hand flapping thing with a sound that goes with it, now it is just so engrained and he has said, dont tell me to stop...it makes me feel better)

    I have received no clear answer on how best to treat them either. For us, trying to do things that are incompatable does not usually work. Usually just riding it out and then moving on does the best. If it is a medication side effect, well that is easy, you can stop the medications..... but the question is if being off the medications is better or worse than the tics themselves. Just reallly hard stuff.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It is hard to know. My only similar experience was a reaction to stims and the addition of Tenex brought it to a halt. Good luck. DDD
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Ugh! My son, too. For a while there, everything he owned had either holes or these big chewed areas on them. Some days he'd come home from school with his shirt just soaking wet from saliva...

    Finally, he got a teacher who was observant enough to connect the shirt chewing with added stress. As soon as she saw him chewing on his clothes, she would make a few changes to "relax" things for him a little - maybe send him on an errand or move him to a quieter corner. That made the BIGGEST difference. And eventually, the chewing just went away...

    I can't help but think Wee's ear rubbing is just a new stimulant in place of the older ones...although the "grimacing" definitely sounds more like a seizure. Can you tell whether he is just "baring his teeth" or whether he is doing something else - like s*cking saliva through his teeth, or clicking his teeth together, or something like that that is more a sensory activity?
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Doesn't seem to be anymore to it than the grimace. At least not that I can find. And its a whole face involved thing...he is really using muscles to do it, but he doesn't seem aware of it at all, and its happening at school, too. It only happens when he's otherwisw "zoned" out. Like watching tv.
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Wow. That really does sound like a seizure...

    I think I would get that checked by a doctor - just to be on the safe side.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is he on any anti-psychotic such as Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Abilify, geodon? Any medications at all? Did he always do this?
  14. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Can't tell youn how many kids over the years of teaching have had what we thought were behavioral fits, tics, or talk outs, just to find out there was seizure activity in the brain. Put on anti seizure medications. changed everything. I would have it checked out for sure.
  15. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    risperdal and depakote. Neither have changed in months, tho.

    He's always had some stims. The "talking hands", and I'm pretty sure the rubbing his ears/face/head is some sort of a stimulant or learned behavior - he does it almost like he's in a room with an ear-splitting noise, ducks his head, covers/rubs his ear, then moves either backward to scratching his head or forward to rubbing his face - like his head is abotu to explode. But he's doing more of it.

    But the grimace thing is entirely new as of a couple of months ago.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Shari, you can develop grimaces, involuntary movements etc. from Risperdal and it can take a while. Bring this up to your doctor as it can be serious. I'm going to take a stab here and hope somebody corrects me...I think it's called tardive dyskensia???? Help?

    My son got many similar side effects from Risperdal and was yanked off of it for his safety. It may not be from the medication, but I would sure tell the doctor abotu it ASAP. The article I posted about TD says older AP's cause TD more often. Maybe they do, but newer ones can too. It's not really that uncommon.


    Good luck!
  17. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    That was something else I wondered about, MWM. If its a tic or something cause by the medications. I guess I would expect those to happen, though, at times other than when he's zoned out.

    Then again, tho...since the accident, my leg gets what I suspect is similar to what people with RLS feel, and if I'm up moving, its ok, but if I'm not up and doing, it jumps all on its own...and I hadn't really thought of it from that perspective.

    Emailing doctor.
  18. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    My difficult child has many tics and/or stims. He has not changed medications in awhile. When he is worried or stressed I notice them the most ...

    I do worry about him being teased but he hasn't ever complained.

    husband and I have learned over the years not to point them out or make a big deal over them and they do decrease ...
  19. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Do the symptoms from Tardive D. come and go though? I have never seen it just remember being warned it could happen. We were never on those medications long enough. If you have him stick out his tongue does it move on its own? I think a certain kind of motion of the tongue was a symptom. Look it up and you can probably find out if you should be too worried about that. The things you are saying sound more like tics and or stims. Tics could be caused by or increased by medications. I have always wondered if they are able to do pet scans on people with these or some other more specific fantasy test that would help us know.... I wonder if they might not look similar in the brain. Some can have just subtle differences but I am not sure they matter much. People can have some degree of control over them but mostly they just happen. If the result is calming or a good feeling we call it stims? Some stims tend to look really different than what we call tics...but some of them look so much alike it could really go either way. Q flaps his hands but it is not really like you see kids who do it from when they are little. My brain hurts now...I think I need to stop thinking of it, lol....
  20. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Shari it could be TDK...and this side effect comes from the AP medications....whether he has been on it 1 day or 10 years, it can manifest anytime. I would call the psychiatrist ASAP. Matt had weird TDK side effects from all the AP medications he was on after a period of time- some medications had more acute side effects than others.

    If it is not that, than I think he is just relieving his internal stress in a difficult child way. Heck, I still rub my face and head when I am stressed - that part is pretty normal. HUGS.