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Updated March 19, 2010
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Updated March 19, 2010
Many thanks, I've got an appointment with his ped this afternoon and ordered those probiotics. One step at a time, but if the swab is negative and he culture is negative, is it worth pursuing further? Would I try to get in with a PANDAS specialist as a first step or would I work with the pediatrician on this (assuming she is open to testing)?
Hi there. My son is 7.5, and has had on and off tics (mostly vocal, with occasional blinking) since he was 4.5. They wax and wane and the first few bouts of them I didn't identify as tics, but associated them with allergies (sniffing and throat clearing, mainly). As he has gotten older, they seem to be getting a bit "worse," though I think they're still mild in the scheme of things. I can't say for certain if they started after a bout with strep but I CAN say that he is prone to strep - he has had it at least 3 times a year since he was 4 (he had it 4 times last school year) and several of those times it has been back-to-back episodes (showing up again a week or so after he has finished his antibiotics from the first round). They definitely flared up after he had it this spring, and didn't calm down until he had a stomach bug in September that weirdly seemed to "reset" him. BUT...they have come roaring back in the last few days and while he doesn't have strep symptoms, several kids from his class have been out with it recently, and I know it is rampant now. He also has issues with anxiety and probably mild OCD behaviors (anxiety/intrusive thoughts and maybe some sensory stuff). He gets frustrated easily and can lash out/be aggressive but only at home, no issues at school/in public. We have no family history of Tourette's (but do have anxiety). Of note: he also had a staph infection from an infected bug bite (pre tic behaviors) and had infant botulism as a baby (received an immunoglobulin as treatment and full recovery). My gut says I should have some bloodwork done to check for PANDAS markers but I don't know where to start. I was thinking of taking him for a strep test this week, he hasn't had a fever but did say his throat was dry and he has been very clingy to me the last few days. Where do I begin? What do I demand they test for? We are in Bucks County, PA - I saw a few docs listed that are PANDAS-friendly on one of the PANDAS sites but I don't know about our pediatrician. Thanks for any advice.
This sounds *exactly* like my son. His tics are 100% derivative of his seasonal allergies - threat clearing, sniffing, currently rubbing his nose. They all stem from physiological discomfort but he can't seem to stop doing them. His room is a mess and he will happily get dirty or messy in dirt/mud, and doesn't have ritualistic things like hand washing but he does have issues with his temper/emotional regulation that I always thought were normal until I realized my other kids don't have the same level of explosiveness. He is an anxious kid, and has some phobias, but he is also great in school, well-liked, lots of friends, and is an exceptional athlete. I actually think I have some OCD behaviors that stem from issues with anxiety. I have never had tics, per se, but have had habits like nail biting and hair chewing.
Hello there - I just posted something similar, it seems like my son's tics/compulsions are brought on by physical discomfort related to allergy or cold symptoms. They always have to do with those symptoms (throat clearing, sniffing, nose scrunching/twitching) but it's almost like once those actual allergy symptoms abate, his brain doesn't get the message to stop clearing/sniffing/scrunching and they hang around (and sometimes worsen). He doesn't chew his lips but he will go through phases of biting his nails down to almost bleeding (and is "tic free" during these times, usually). I'm wondering if they're tics or compulsions, or what the difference is, really. And how to help. OTC allergy meds don't seem to alleviate it.
taraph posted a topic in Tourette Syndrome and TicsHi there - I'm new here, but have read many of your helpful posts since we began dealing with my son's tics a couple of years ago. As quick background, when he was 4.5, he did a sniffing thing that I didn't identify as a tic when school first started. That went away, though he did a throat clear-y/squeaky thing only when eating and drinking for a little while. They subsided. Then when school started again the following year, the sniff was back, along with a throat clearing thing - it seemed bad only really when he was talking, like he'd pause to sniff and throat clear as he was telling a story. Again, I didn't really identify them as tics and they passed within a couple of months.Then like clockwork when school started this past year we had the throat clearing/sniffing thing again. He had a cold this winter and started with the throat clearing thing again, and that lasted for about 3 weeks (and his teacher noticed it and contacted me). It went away until the week before Easter this year when he started with a throat clearing/squeak that has since morphed into a sniff with an elongated nose thing and now it's both. I started him on magnesium and DHA, and those things do seem to help and he goes through long periods of being tic-free. I had a kind of epiphany, though, and realized that when his allergies ramp up (he has pretty bad seasonal allergies), these behaviors/tics come back. In the past it seemed to be only in the fall but his spring allergies have been awful this year for the first time and this is the first time they've appeared in the spring. The tics/behaviors he has seem to be directly related to his allergy symptoms - sniffing, throat clearing, that "my nose is itchy so I'm going to twitch it" thing. It's almost like he starts doing them when he has allergy symptoms and even when the symptoms are alleviated, his brain hasn't gotten the message to stop with the motions of throat clearing, sniffing, and nose twitching. He hasn't (yet) had any tics that aren't related to his or that involve other parts of his body than his face/voice. The tics also absolutely tend to also show up during times of anxiety - the start of school, or right now he is just really feeling done with the school year and anxious to be done. I have tried a few different allergy meds (Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra) and they all seem to make him sleepy and don't necessarily alleviate these behaviors. I've brought this up to his pediatrician, who is completely unconcerned - she said tic syndromes are common in young kids, especially boys, and encouraged researching supplementation but advised against any medication unless they were really interfering with his life. One of her sons has had tics on and off for years and they have abated since going through puberty. My guy is an anxious kid and a few kids at school have said things to him this spring about the throat clearing (asked him to stop, or said it was annoying). He has friends and is well-liked, but I do feel like his already fragile confidence is taking a bit of a hit and contributing to his school and social anxiety and I want to help him out in any way I can. Sorry for the ramble. I guess I'm wondering: does anyone have tics that seem to be directly related to seasonal allergy symptoms, or does it sound possible that these are more compulsions than tics? I have read about digestive enzymes - has anyone had success with these? Thanks for reading!