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8 year old boy with transient tics

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Hi, I am new to this site, however my situation is probably not. We have an 8 year old boy who started with heavy eye blinking about 10 months ago. This escalated into shoulder and abdominal twitching several months later. All his symptons went away in the summer but came back late prior to school. He has no Attention Deficite problems or any other learning problems, in fact he is a very bright boy, just a little shy. He loves school, and the teacher does not notice any tics at school. He seems to have them in the morning and in the evening, especially when he is relaxing such as laying on the couch watching TV. He seems to have them during mealtime as well. I know they will eventually go away, but I get so depressed observing him it is effecting me. I have read alot, and last week tried Magnessium supplements which seemed to help reduce the severity. He was twitching so violently I thought he would fall off the couch, and this week he was much better, but then he had a bad flair up this morning. I have read a lot about diet, and my mom is Celiac, (no wheat gluten free) and was curious as to if anyone had success with gluten free and tics. I know he is not TS, he has no vocal tics, and his tics to come and go. The last two nights we served him for dinner a lot of gluten patties, he loves them, and I was wandering if this could have triggered it? I think some of the problem I have is dealing with it myself. He is such a sweet boy and has Aortic Stennosis (faulty heart valve) that will require surgery in the next several years. It makes me cry to see him have to go through the tics. There is no history in our family that we know of tics or TS. He is also a twin, with a very healthy robust sister that is 10 lbs heavier and very athletic. There, a short history, like I said, I probably need the advice more then him! He is very happy and appears normal from our observation and his grade two teacher. We just had a parent/teacher conference last night and was told he was a very good student, just a little shy.

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He is great now, besides going gluten free and watching his diet, he is tic free. Please pray and believe it will pass by. 

I know just how you are feeling. My son came down with an acute head nodding tic 8 months ago. I was devasated. I have been on an emotional rollercoaster ride; fear, guilt ( perhaps i contributed to it), anger, sad, depress and now just burned out. I am acutally seeing a therapist to help me deal with this sudden onset of illness.


I think the most frightening thing about tic is the TS dx. Now, i've come to realized rather TS or not, the alternative treatment plan is the same. So if you are like me, don't worry about the dx, just focus on treating the symptoms. And you have come to the right place for info.


You did not mentioned strep infection, so i guess we can rule out PANDAS.


Since you mentioned your mom is celiac. I am wondering if your son may have food sensitivies. Based on that assumption, i would start with food allergies. Does your son have allergy or asthma? You mentioned your son tics more while watching TV. Perhaps he is photosensitive. You may want to eliminate TV time for 7-10 days and see what happens. You also mentioned he tics more in the AM & PM but not in school. Is he watching TV at that time?


There is a thread here about 7 things you can do to about tics. I wish i can link it for you but i am not very good with the computer. You can find it by searching the discussion topics.


I know this is all very overwhelming, but once you get the process going, given time and trial of error, you will slowly find what works and work doesn't.


In short, without too much details, this is what we have done in the past 8 months: acupuncture, chiropractic, cranialsacral therapy, chinese medicine, homepathic medicine to detox, NAET and empsom salt baths. We also avoid MSG, food colorings and additives. We are eating mostly organic, drinking filter water, stop using teflon pans and microwave oven, watch LCD TV only, using an air purifier, and using nontoxic cleaners and mild shampoo and soap And yes, almost forgot, no flouride in toothpaste. My son's symptoms have greatly improved over a course of time. In the beginning, it was hard to find the trigger, everything seem to be a trigger. Now, I have a better idea what is causing it and have a better handle on it, as will you.


This is going to be a journey, but you are not alone. This board has given me so much info. to help my son, i am sure that he will be fine.


Keep coming with the questions. And keep reading.



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Hi Patty,


I'm new here and I just posted a very similar to this one tonight..My son's ticing is not as severe but it's becoming more frequent..He asked me tonight if he could shake his head. That was the first time he ever asked me that. Instanly, I felt scared and worried..My son does watch T.V and he plays video games..As a matter of fact I notice his blinking a year ago after he played video games with a friend of his..They played fro a long time..I have cut back on his T.V watching but now I will stop him for the 7-10 days and see if it changes anything..


Thank you for your post. :)


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Hi lmcgill and Jackie and welcome to Latitudes/ACN


Patty has given you some very good pointers there!


lmcgill, gluten intolerance certainly could be causing a problem and it would be worth having testing and try elimination to see if this helps

we have a number of members here who have found that by removing offending foods, tics drastically reduce




for both lmcgill and Jackie


there are so many things that can cause tic onset in children that, once a genetic TS diagnosis is ruled out, it is a case of much research and often trial and error until one finds just what is triggering things


Our administrator, Sheila Rogers, has written a very comprehensive book detailing potential causes and possible treatments for tics



and she also has an excellent article about tic triggers on the main ACN section for tics and tourettes



I am constrained by a very busy work schedule at present and so can post as much as usual, but would encourage you to keep reading and doing as much research as you can and most of all to find a knowledgable doctor who can work with you to get testing and guide you with treatments.


sadly, most conventional doctors really are not aware of or open to many of the causes and treatments we discuss here, and so it is best to work with Integrative physicians who are up to date on all this, or who at least will take the trouble to educate themselves and then help.


ALWAYS ask whether a doc has experience with tics and also if they are open to alternative testing and treatments, as many will write a prescription and tell you there is nothing that can be done beyond that! And most of the tic meds come with potentially serious side effects!!


DAN doctors specialise in autism, but many are also experienced in working with patients who have transient tic disorders or TS

Sheila has a sticky thread to try to help find good medical help



I will try to bump up some of the comprehensive threads here that summarize testing and treatments , but really must get back to work now


Just a word of encouragment to both of you........yes, it is scary and overwhelming when this all starts, and yes, you may still have some rocky paths ahead, but as many of us here can testify, both those dealing with TS and those with other tic disorders, there are numerous ways to improve things without having to resort to neurological drugs.


((((HUGS)))) to you both and just know that you have found a really special group here who will support you and freely share knowledge and experience


Cheri :)

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Hi Cheri or Patty,


Hi Cheri I really needed to hear this..I'm really glad I found this website..


I just purchased the Tics and Tourett's by Sheila Roger..


I have one question about Vocal Tics. My son does have a tendency to repeat dialogues when watching T.V. Not sure if that's normal for kids his age..He use to do it more when he was younger but now I hear it once in awaile..I read that repeating words could be a complex Vocal Tic. Is that true or I'm being overly worried?


Thank you again for the information,



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Thanks for the heatfelt support. I took him to the walk in clinic (we live in BC Canada), and was successfull in gettting the attending Dr to refer us to a Allergy Specialist. We are going to try some wheat free products and see if there is a change. I also have him taking Calcium and Mag, a B complex and a multi vitamin. Is there another suppliment we should be trying?

I keep hearing that the tics are hard to suppress, yet when he is on our lap, there is usually nothing. It seems to most obvious when he is not talking and/or relaxing.

Like I said earlier, the teachers don't notice anything. I am only hoping it does not worsen. I know it will get better, but anything to minimize them would be enough encouragement for me.

I feel like I am the one that needs help! My wife says I do enough worrying for both of us and to look at the bright side. He is happy, eating well, does not have TS, (at least according to all the data we have read and been told), and that it will more then likely go away.

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I'm so happy to hear your son is happy. My son also is a happy 13 year old dx Ts last Jan. He has really helped me with my sadness. I figure if a kid his age can be happy being different at an age when for most kids that is the last thing they want, then I need to take a good hard look at myself. My son is also very bright he has a photographic memory when it comes to spelling. I have dyslexia and can't believe he doesn't have any learning problems. Glad your here.



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Thanks C.P. for your kind words and trust me I need all the support I can get :) It's funny that you say your son has a photographic memory when it comes to spelling because my son does too..As a matter of fact he thinks he's the speller in the world LOL..I know he'll be just fine but it's me I'm worried about and I guess by talking to everyone here I will get a lot of support..

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Please do let us know how it goes when you stop TV (and computer?) for 7-10 days. I think it is good to track that on the survey thread...a lot of people have seen a major difference there!




Sometimes when people think their child is ticcing when 'relaxing and watching TV', the CRT TV screen or animated/flashy show is actually the tic trigger.



I bumped a thread for both of you on people's experience with the TV/computer trigger. If it IS a trigger, there are things you can do to minimize it, plus it may guide you as to the immune issues/deficiencies associated with it.


Good luck,


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I don't know what DLP is. If it is plasma, theoretically those don't flicker.


If you read the thread, you will see that TV/computer impact can be cumulative, and last for days. The only way I know to know for sure is to do 'no screens' (no TV/computer/movies/gameboys...) for 7 days. Some people think this is excessive for their child, only you can judge that. I think 75% that tried the removal saw improvement. Of course those that tried suspected it was a cause, so this wouldn't mean it is a factor for 75% of kids with tic syndromes.


I would just suggest looking at the thread and then thinking about it...



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DLP -- consists of thousands of crystal mirrors to create the image.


The thousands of mirrors making up the Digital Micromirror Device at the heart of DLP® technology are spaced less than one micron apart, resulting in a very high "fill factor." By minimizing the gaps between pixels in a projected image, DLP® projection systems create a seamless digital picture that's sharp at any size—without the pixellation or "screen door" effect apparent in other technologies.


lcd-- liquid crystal..


LCD technology is based on the properties of polarized light. Two thin, polarized panels sandwich a thin liquid-crystal gel that is divided into individual pixels. An X/Y grid of wires allows each pixel in the array to be activated individually. When an LCD pixel darkens, it polarizes at 90 degrees to the polarizing screens.


This cross-polarizing blocks light from passing through the LCD screen where that pixel has darkened. The pixel darkens in proportion to the voltage applied to it: for a bright detail, a low voltage is applied to the pixel; for a dark shadow area, a higher voltage is applied. LCDs are not completely opaque to light, however; some light will always go through even the blackest LCD pixels.


DLP to me probably has less of a flickering effect then LCD but I am not sure what relationship that has on

people with light sensitivity.

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Thanks Claire,


I will definitely come back and let you know..The funny thing is I also suspected T.V as one of the cause so my son only watch T.V for half an hour on the weekdays but he does watch T.V on the weekend...Lets say after I do stop him from watching T.V and I realize his ticing has disappeared since they are mild, what do I do next?



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