New Member
besides Tourette's Syndrome whatelse can cause tics?

difficult child will have times where he shakes his hands and arms, wipe his face and shake off his hands or he will twitch his shoulders and head.

now the face/hand thing started before he started the trileptal so i don't think it is medication related.

at first difficult child said he was wiping bugs off his face and i thought uh oh delusions but the more i watch him these tics happen when he is having 'bad' days. i think it is a nervous reaction.

today the one on one even noted that his handwriting was sloppy(usually he is a neat if not heavy writer)and that he was shaking his arms walking down the hall.

so anyone else have this as a symptom and what was it attributed to?


Well-Known Member
You know what? I wouldn't even take a guess. I'd have him go in for a Neurological exam and go from there. Nobody here can really tell you what the problem is. in my opinion, make an appointment. and see. Sometimes medications can either bring on latent tic disorders or make them worse, but I'd want to have a doctor do tests.


Is he on any medications besides Trileptal? Have you asked the prescribing doctor about tics related to any medications?

Tics are a biological condition that occurs in up to 18 percent of boys and 11 percent of girls (so it's actually quite common). Tics are thought to be related to too much activity by the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepineprhine. Anxiety, as well as viruses, can exacerbate tics, but do not cause tics. Stimulant medications prescribed for ADHD can also exacerbate tics.

All Tourette's Syndrome is is a mixed vocal and motor tic disorder that has an onset of before 18 years old and lasts for at least one year. My son does not meet the criteria for Tourette's Syndrome because his tics are only motor; his diagnosis therefore is tic disorder.


New Member
thanks smallworld. he is only on the trileptal. he doesn't have vocal tics(one reason i ruled out Tourette's Syndrome).

i have brought up the tics several times but the psychiatrist wasn't that concerned. maybe i should call her and but more emphasis on it.


Sheena-Warrior Momma
Our Pediatric Neuro said that our difficult child's hair twisting and finger movements were not troublesome unless they stopped his normal daily functions. (ie:he couldn't get through schoolwork because he HAD to do this thing)

I would definitely push it with the psychiatrist or Pediatrician could be something underlying.


Neurologists are really the docs who treat tics. We happen to see a neurologist because difficult child 1 and difficult child 2 have migraines. Honestly, the neuro wasn't all that jazzed about my son's tics either. We just have to be careful about Focalin XR (a stimulant) because if the dose is too high, his tics are out of control.

Risperdal and other atypical antipsychotics are sometimes used to treat tics. So are the blood pressure medications Clonidine and Tenex.


Active Member
I sometimes have a hard time distinguishing between tics and stims. difficult child 3 has a weird noise he makes, like a quiet growl, which I don't think he is even aware of. It is more frequent when he's anxious, also when he's concentrating.

He's had odd facial movements too, like a nose twitch or similar. He also picks at his skin, although I think that is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

With difficult child 3, it's down to his autism.



New Member
Our difficult child stims. He has the hand/foot flapping common with aspergers, but also has a couple of hand movements that we have categorized as stims. He has one where he appears to be itching the outside of both sides of his nose with his hands at the same time. And one where he does the same thing to the back of his head.

We notice that for him it is done mostly when he is revved up or excited about something - it appears to work as a sort of release of energy for him. Some days it's practically non-existent and somedays frequent.

He has always had the hand/foot flapping - I recently found a picture of him in his excersaucer - he was about 7 or 8 months old - and his hands and feet were moving so fast that they are a blur in the picture. I was a bit shocked to realize he has ALWAYS done it.