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3 year old with tics not sure where to go from here


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My son is 3 1/2 years old. Back in June he developed a habit where he would wipe his face with his shirt. It lasted a 2-3 weeks and then went away. Was concerned but not to much.

Last week we went on vacation and he developed multiple tics. He does a face wiping behavior where he wipes his hand down his face, he rubs/grabs both ears one at a time and he also is grabbing his legs. Its almost like he is itching but doesn't really itch mostly grabs. All the behaviors vary in intensity through out the day. If he is really interacting with me there are less but at times they are really repeatives almost constant. Some times I see more legs behaviors and sometimes more face. There doesn't seem to be a real pattern.

 

I am 7 months pregnant and I know he has some anxiety about that. Not sure where to go from here?? What do I do???

 

Also normal development till now. Mild anxiety at times but nothing to abnormal. Family history of OCD but no tics.

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Hello cagirlintexas,

 

While I can't offer much information regarding your son, I can mention some similarities between your son and mine, who is now 8.

 

We first noticed repetitive movements with our son when he was 4. He had an eyelash pulling movement that persisted for at least a couple of months, and then disappeared. Like you, my wife was pregnant at the time his tics presented.

 

When our concern became serious enough, we took him to a pediatric neurologist, who diagnosed mild ocd, and also to a child psychologist, who diagnosed transient complex motor tics. When I subsequently asked another ped. neur., I was told that the conflicting diagnoses were not necessarily conflicting, that ocd and motor tics can be related.

 

I came to this forum around two months ago after watching some new tic behaviors emerge in our son. I won't go into our whole story, but I will say that this week we had our second visit with an environmental dr. (our regular pediatrician and a ped. neur. were both unable to address our concerns to our satisfaction), and we're pretty certain of the link between stress and my son's tics. That is, they manifest most under stress.

 

I'm no dr., but I wouldn't think it unlikely that the pending arrival of a new brother or sister (congratulations, by the way!) would trigger stress related tics. If you say there is a family history of ocd, there may be some level of predisposition.

 

I'm sure you'll get some excellent feedback here. Good luck!

 

Chris

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hello cagirl,

stress in any form, mental and phsyical can of course trigger tics.

 

have you tried poking around the forum for some ideas? magnesium is always a good start, some here like a product called Peter Gilliam's Natural Calm, a magnesium powder you can mix in juice. you could google it, the site has some good info on magnesium and its uses. Eliminating junk like too much candy, caffeine, or artificials like high fructose syrup in obvious forms, along with red and blue dyes in packaged foods, can also make a difference in some kids. its worth a try, .. see if it makes a differnce.

 

good luck

Faith

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My son is 3 1/2 years old. Back in June he developed a habit where he would wipe his face with his shirt. It lasted a 2-3 weeks and then went away. Was concerned but not to much.

Last week we went on vacation and he developed multiple tics. He does a face wiping behavior where he wipes his hand down his face, he rubs/grabs both ears one at a time and he also is grabbing his legs. Its almost like he is itching but doesn't really itch mostly grabs. All the behaviors vary in intensity through out the day. If he is really interacting with me there are less but at times they are really repeatives almost constant. Some times I see more legs behaviors and sometimes more face. There doesn't seem to be a real pattern.

 

I am 7 months pregnant and I know he has some anxiety about that. Not sure where to go from here?? What do I do???

 

Also normal development till now. Mild anxiety at times but nothing to abnormal. Family history of OCD but no tics.

 

 

My son (now 4 1/2) has had very similar symptoms and I have been trying to find similar stories to relate to. He started wiping his mouth and nose with his shirt when he was 2ish. I thought it was associated with having colds but have determined that's not the case. This "tic" has waxed and waned and now he just seems to touch his face a lot (all over but mainly his nose and eye area) without really scratching it. Sometimes he pulls his lower eyelid down and does a little nose-stretching tic, but not very often. Tic disorders run in both sides of our family and his older sister has had a few small tics so I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have always wondered if the "touching behavior" was a tic or not and have concluded that it must be a form of tics/ocd or precursor to tics. I have noticed it's been worse the last month and think it correlates to environmental allergens. I don't know if this helps much but it's sometimes nice to hear about similar experiences. I wish you well.

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My son (now 4 1/2) has had very similar symptoms and I have been trying to find similar stories to relate to. He started wiping his mouth and nose with his shirt when he was 2ish. I thought it was associated with having colds but have determined that's not the case. This "tic" has waxed and waned and now he just seems to touch his face a lot (all over but mainly his nose and eye area) without really scratching it. Sometimes he pulls his lower eyelid down and does a little nose-stretching tic, but not very often. Tic disorders run in both sides of our family and his older sister has had a few small tics so I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have always wondered if the "touching behavior" was a tic or not and have concluded that it must be a form of tics/ocd or precursor to tics. I have noticed it's been worse the last month and think it correlates to environmental allergens. I don't know if this helps much but it's sometimes nice to hear about similar experiences. I wish you well.

 

ya its kinda of a weird behavior the face wiping. At first we though with that and the leg grabbing it might be some sort of allergy. It really almost looks like that. We saw our pediatrician today and she does want to rule out allergies first so we are going to give him benyadril tomorrow and see if we notice any difference. She also did blood work to see if its PANDAS and additional blood work to check basic stuff like. After we get the results then it will probably be on to a neurologist.

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  • 4 years later...

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