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Natural Treatments for Tics and Tourette's - A Patient and Family Guide

Our helpful guide is a #1 bestselling book on tics and Tourette's. This 365-page book explains how to treat tics using natural and alternative therapies, from nutritional, behavioral and counseling therapies, EEG biofeedback, and homeopathy to bodywork, energy medicine, and Chinese medicine. This Book offers advice from medical experts, a common tic triggers checklist, inspirational family stories, practical worksheets, and takeaway tips for the help that you need. Learn more


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My child has tics, how can I help him?

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5 replies to this topic

#1 Claire


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Posted 15 July 2004 - 11:18 AM

Hi to all,

We get so many questions like this and I think it would be great to have a reference link with ideas that we can paste in when they ask this question. Look at Sheila's medical help link--500 views in 3 months.

Welcome, and please know that we have all gone through, or are still going through the worries that you must feel for your child. We have learned from eachother here. The good news is that there IS a lot you can do to help your child! As you go through your journey, please share what works for your child so that others can benefit.

1. Most mainstream doctors don't know about alternate (non-pharmaceutical methods) of healing to minimize and potentially eliminate tics, as opposed to drugs to just try to treat the symptoms. If you don't already have a knowledgeable doctor, you will have better luck finding a doctor here:

Finding medical help

2. Initial testing and treatment can run from $1000 to $3000 if you go this route. If you have PPO insurance, 50-70% may be covered. If cost is an issue, in general naturopaths may be less expensive than MDs. But the tests themselves (at the labs) are fixed costs--though if you pay in advance and then bill insurance you can save a lot. This does not include costs of supplements or restocking your kitchen shelves with different food if needed.

3. Tics can often go along with other comorbid conditions such as OCD, ADHD, delayed sleep, which can be more disturbing to the child than the tics. Improvement can often be seen across the other conditions also as the tics improvement. Usually a TS diagnosis is made after a year of multiple motor tics and vocal tics. There are other tic syndromes such as transient and chronic tic syndromes, whose symptoms are less severe than TS symptoms.

4. If you don't choose to use a doctor, then this site (and the internet in general) is a gold mine of information for ideas re triggers to avoid and healing. Much of the process is trial and error to see what helps your child, but most of the regulars have found substantial improvement. The more you understand, the more you can help your child.

5. Some natural methods some people here use (can be different combinations of below--not every method works for every child of course).

-Doing an elimination diet (per the Doris Rapp book "Is this your child") to remove common foods that kids can be sensitive to. Removal of Wheat/gluten, Milk/casien, corn, soy, eggs, peanuts....can all help, depending on the child. Different children will have different sensitivities, but many of our kids have some.

General list of tic triggers from Latitutudes

-Avoiding artificial color/flavors/preservatives, and sometimes salicylates, aka the Fiengold diet at www.feingold.org. Some also do failsafe which is similar but adds amine elimination. (Lists exist on this site of the salicylates/amines).

-Avoiding or limiting sugar/corn syrup. (I personally think the sugar reaction can be due to yeast issues)

-Avoiding 'screens', e.g. computer/TV/gameboy/big screen movies. Try it for your child for a week straight (camping is a great time to try it), as the effect can be lingering and cumulative. Summary of poster's successes here...I think 15 or 17 now, though the summary hasn't been updated.

-Trying supplements, either via a customized program or from www.bonniegr.com If you do supplements, in an ideal world you will do them one at a time to see if your child reacts to one of them.

-Trying probiotics such as bifidus, acidophilus. Make sure they are 'live' --some prefer yogurt, some refrigerate capsules.

-Tying EFAs (essential fatty acids) such as Omega3's (flax or fish oil) and GLA (evening primrose or borage oil). Some people feel that many children with tics/OCD can't get the Omega3's from the flax oil, so they try fish oil instead. Some have a reaction to fish oil. Again, watch as you add these. Also, if you get fish oil, be careful of mercury issues (from the mercury in fish). We get ours Molecularly distilled.

-Trying enzymes for better absorption and/or digestion of proteins/fats/carbs/fenols

-HEPA air filter for mold, which can affect moods. Also dustmites for some.

6. Other medical conditions
..that can result in tics--we have threads on all of theses
Pyroluria (lab test doesn't require a doctor signature)
Gluten/Casein intolerance (urine, blood or stool test, varies)
Yeast/fungal overgrowth (at home 'free' spit test to get started, also urine or stool test).
Vitamin/Antioxidant deficiencies (lab test doesn't require a doctor signature)
Parasites (usually a stool test)
Mercury or other heavy metal toxicity (hair or blood test)
MT protein issues (newer item here, people are still investigating)

7. Most of us here on Latitude consider 'drugs' less preferrable to alternative methods, as drugs don't treat the underlying issues and can have side effects. Virtually all of us think that asking a child to control the tics not only doesn't work but creates poor long term esteem issues and increases stress and thus tics. Loving acceptance in the home is so important.

8. Everyone is welcome to come here for support and understanding! Try to read key threads and ask questions. One compiled summary thread of specific things where you may see improvement in one week is (with lists of the success of others who have tried it).


9. Finally, most of us pray for help in finding the right path for our children. We believe that God has helped us here. We certainly respect that not everyone else feels that way however.


I hope our community here will add as you have time. Maybe something on what worked/works best for your child.

#2 Guest_jean chan_*

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 08:39 PM

Thank you Claire, this is very helpful for new comer like me..

B) jc

#3 Claire


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Posted 09 August 2004 - 04:51 PM

Bumped up for Sari.


#4 Claire


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Posted 26 August 2004 - 08:50 PM

Sakshi and Tricia--bumped for you.


#5 Claire


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Posted 02 December 2004 - 09:35 PM

Spartan, bumped for you.


#6 Claire


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Posted 18 December 2004 - 01:12 AM

bumped for coolshop and Alison.


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