Tourette's Syndrome

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ML, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    Ok, I hope I don't sound like one of those moms who think their kid has every letter diagnosis under the sun, BUT.... I think manster may have mild Tourettes. I've brought up the tics here previously. A couple years ago we noticed a throat clearing tic and about a year ago he started the eye blinking. Well now we think he has a cough tic. Sure, he has asthma and allergies so at first I thought it was a natural reflex, but I'm starting to wonder. He was coughing repetitively on the plane. I had given him his flonase, qvar and a shot of albeuterol. His flow meter was slightly low but had pulled up with the medications. So my brother said "I think it's more of a habit, his lungs sound clear". So we made a deal with him that if he didn't cough for the entire plane ride (2 hours) we'd give him $20 to spend at the M&M store. He did it! He told me it was difficult. I could see him try to hold back the urge but he managed to pull it off and was proud as a peacock.

    I guess it's pretty typical to run with ADHD. It kind of explains a lot of quirkiness too. Does anyone here have experience with Tourette's Syndrome?

    As always I appreciate any thoughts and/or feedback.

  2. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Well my child has a pretty mild case of Tourette's Syndrome as well. And no one really noticed the tics until I pointed it out....People can have a wide range of tics, it isn't consider Tourette's Syndrome unless there are vocal and movement tics as well as tics that change over time. This year my difficult child tics have worsened...but still in the manageable range. The doctors don't like to use medication unless the tics are interfering with overall funcitoning.

    Its not fun having one more diagnosis...however, so many diagnosis come from neurological/checmial changes in the it's not really surprising to see more than one diagnosis.

    I hope if indeed he does has a mild form of tourette's that it stays very mild....our kids already have enough on their plates.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I only know a little about Tourette's Syndrome. I do know that often the person can work to control a tic but it is very stressful. They often later have a period where all those pent up tics that were not expressed MUST be expressed. From what I understand about medications for tics, often they just suppress the tic. when the medications wear off then the tics come back stronger for a period of time.

    with a coughing tic I am not sure I would push him to hold it back. It may get to a point where he has so many unexpressed tics that he coughs uncontrollably for a period of time.

    I learned this from a friend in college who had Tourette's Syndrome. He would take medications to get through interviews, things like study groups with unsupportive people (some idiots would make fun of him so for new groups,etc he worked HARD to suppress the tics) and similar things. He had family trouble because his dad was in a frat and the tics made him get turned down for pledging - they wouldn't even let him try to pledge. his dad was angry that others knew about hte Tourette's Syndrome.

    It can really hurt self esteem to pressure the person to hold the tics back - they can end up thinking they are not as good because they have the tics.

    If the tics interfere with social behavior, then working to keep them at a manageable level can be important though. It seems hard to know where the line is between urging someone to suppress the tics because they are disturbing others and when to just let them be because that is how they are.

    I hope he doesn't have Tourette's Syndrome and that the tics are not such that they cause real problems with fitting in socially.

    Have you seen a neurologist about this? A good pediatric neurologist should evaluate this.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    What you describe also sounds perfectly compatible with the stims in Asperger's. Certainly if you're concerned about the possibility of Tourette's, but form my understanding, while a kid on the spectrum CAN hold off from stimming if he really concentrates on it, with Tourettes the more pressure you put on them to not tic, the worse the tics can be.

  5. Stella

    Stella New Member

    Hi ML. I have a little experience with this. My difficult child was hospitalised last summer while i was away on holidays. My mother was looking after her while I went away and one evening she went into a full blown 'rage" .My parents and two of my sisters were in the house when this happened and nobody could control her, nobody knew what to do so my sister ended up calling an ambulance. She was taken to hospital as kept in until I returned (got early flight home). Well, actually, come to think of it she had started blinking excessivly for a few weeks prior to the hospital admission. Anway while she was in there, the blinking got worse and she also started throat clearing and sniffing. Its like all of these tics came out of nowhere!! I was terrified that this was something that was going to stay with her. It really was quite disturbing to see her like this.

    Anyway, to cut a long story short, a few days after she was discharged from the hospital, all the tics subsided and she hasn't had them since - thank God! - they all seemed to go as quickly as they came - it was really quiet bizarre but I suppose if anything it proved how these things can be brought on from an intense amount of anxiety.

    I don't know if there is a link between tourettes and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) but it is something I must look into as I presently have a psychiatric who is trying to tell me difficult child is Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) - I personally find it hard to believe that her sensory issues, learning difficulties and the fact that she developed a tic disorder so easily are congruent with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)..

    Anyway, just to reiterate and on a hopeful note, from my experience tics it is possible for the tics to disappear on their own once the anxiety is dealt with....I do not know if this is always the case though especially with severe forms...
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Stella, do NOT accept a Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) diagnosis unless ALL other things have been conclusively ruled out. VERY conclusively. An Aspie could be highly traumatized by the therapies for Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Be aware that girls present Asperger's differently than boys. It might be helpful to find some books on Asperger's that discuss the ways girls express this differently.

    Unless your difficult child had a VERY VERY stressful life the first 3 years it probably isn't Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). If she is adopted and was in several different foster homes, or was abused by someone in those first 3 years, then Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a possible. If she had a life in those 3 years that did not have big traumas, neglect or abuse, the chances of it being Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) are very very low.

    Tics can be part of Aspergers or come on when a child is very very anxious. Manster does not do well with change, so the trip was probably very challenging. All the changes in routine, the plane trip with all those other people, all of the sensory input, they would all be tough on kids with sensory challenges and any Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or with high anxiety. And tics could show up then.

    If manster sees suppressing these as a challenge, or something he wants to do (for the $$ for example) than it probably won't hurt him. You might watch him after the time he is trying to suppress them in is over. If he has a big surge in the tics for a while then it may be Tourette's Syndrome. If he does not, it might not be. The big surge in tics is what one of husband's coworkers sees in her son if he tries to suppress his tics for a period of time. It is a big sign the neuro looked for when trying to see what was causing the tics. (They use the same pediatrician neuro we do - they gave us his name and he is the BEST. I mentioned this to husband and he was IMing with his coworker on another issue so he asked her about trying to suppress tics.)

    If this continues a trip to the pediatrician neuro is a good idea.
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    Thanks everyone. I guess it could be more of an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) stimulant. The good news is they haven't gotten worse. Also, the stims/tics while annoying seem in line with natural reflexes (coughing, throat clearing) except for the eye blinking which isn't so bad at this point. I suppose I'll bring it up to psychiatrist this week but my guess is she'll say to keep an eye on it for now and that the tenex he is already on should help. I also think the stress of our trip factored into this. husband made an observation that he always has episodes of allergy symptoms before we go somewhere.
  8. ML

    ML Guest

    Susie, you snuck in on me... thank you so much for the information. I didn't see worsening after the 2 hour suppression so that's a good sign. I think you are right on with your assessment. Love you, ML