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Concerned Grandparent

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Hello, I'm new here & from the UK. My Grandson, aged 8, was diagnosed with TS about a year ago due to physical tics lasting over a couple of years & noises (sort of grunts). He is a sociable, intelligent child who appears to be totally unaware he is doing this. His Mum has been taking him to the local NHS appointments, which she says are not helping. Quite often these appts are cancelled at the last minute, putting extra stress on everyone. She's a single parent, working hard & when they cancel she's already booked time off work & disrupted Leo's day. She was so distressed last week & I realise this will only make the situation worse so I decided to step in. I am semiretired & so have more time to research his condition. However, being Grandma makes it a little harder as he doesn't live with me so I can't observe him quite so much. I do see him very often though & with Easter hold coming up that will change to having him & his older brother every day.

Last week his school rang my daughter to say they thought his tics are getting worse & other children are beginning to comment. It occurred to me that for about a month now he has been attending "before school club". He loves going but I thought I might start by looking at what he eats there, what/who he plays with etc. as maybe it is no coincidence that the schoolteacher has seen a change.

My question is this - if I insist on a change to something (eg ask them not to let him play electronic games before school) as a rough guide how long do people think it would be before I saw the effects of this (if there were any)? So sorry this post is rambling! I'm very concerned for my daughter's health & also the effect on the other son.

Thanks for reading.

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Hi Grandma and welcome :) though I am sorry it is concern for your grandson that brings you here.


It is really good that you are educating yourself about integrative ways to help with TS as sadly the conventional medical treatments often do nothing and frequently make things worse when some types of medications are introduced.


Do take a look at our Helpful Threads pinned to the top of this board (also linked below in my signature here)

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Hi Grandma, we're glad you wrote. Leo is very lucky to have you in his life, and I'm sure you will be able to help him.


We understand from your description that he has had tics and vocalizations for more than two years now. It's good that they have been mild enough that he has not been concerned and kids have apparently ignored them -- until now.


It sounds like a good move of yours to check out the before-school club. Our forum members would be curious to know what he eats there. Also, what would he typically be eating if not at the club. Does his mother have him on any particular type of diet?


Food is always a great place to start, but there are other things to consider also. You mention video games. Does he play a lot of those at this early morning program?


Is there a family history of allergy?


Do you think he has outdoor allergies and are they high right now at this time of the season?


What about the setting for this club -- have you or his mom ever noticed if it smells musty or moldy in there or in his classroom?


Or have they renovated anything at school lately-- new paint, new carpets?


How about any changes at home?


Please try to think of everything that might have changed in the last month or so and let us know, OK?


Of course the increase could be unrelated to environmental factors (that term includes food). Like a viral or bacterial infection, increased school work, or other stressors.


We hope you can find time to get back to us on these things, Grandma! (And you didn't ramble, you did a good job explaining.)


Thank you, Sheila

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Hi Grandma, I don't normally jump category's, (I live in the Pandas forum), but your post caught my eye....So I just wanted to say welcome! Ditto to Sheila, your grandson is indeed lucky to have a grandparent like you. Congratulations on finding this forum as well. As you dialogue your way thru ACN, you will find a very intelligent, educated set of parents whom have an abundance of information to share that I am sure, will be fruitful and eye opening.


Best of luck!!! I look forward to checking in and hearing your success.....


Best Regards,


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  • 2 weeks later...

TS naturally waxes and wanes too, so it may just be it's natural wax going on. Changes in seasons also tend to flare kids up. I would also be curious if just the activity/excitement of the before school club may be flaring him up. I agree that diet and environmental can definitely have an effect, but sometimes it's just the natural wax going on. You're pretty amazing to be so caring and involved!

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  • 1 month later...

Hello everyone & thanks for the replies. At this present time my daughter has decided to try a therapist who has suggested EFT (emotional freedom technique) tapping. I don't have much confidence in this but have to respect her decision. Whilst I wait for any results I am reading Sheila's "Natural Remedies for Tics & Tourette's" and am finding it very interesting, especially the reports from families who have had success with their own remedies & without medication. A few cases mention a definite reaction to food. In the UK doctors tell us that people can be tested for allergies but there is no test for intolerances. However in the book I'm sure people mention being tested for ANY adverse reaction to food/environmental factors. Is this a difference between USA & UK? Like most 9 year-olds Leo has lots of interests/activities outside the home & observing him at all times would be very difficult. If I could find a test to at least point me in the right direction I would be overjoyed. Thanks

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Hi Grandma, There is some controversy about the difference between food allergy, food intolerance, and food sensitivity. Some parents don't worry about it and just have the goal to avoid anything that is troublesome.


It is helpful, as you say, to have some direction to go in. You might want to look at this group in the UK which also has a link to related types of groups. http://latitudes.org/food-allergy-made-simple/


Dr. Albert Robbins wrote an article on food allergy that might be helpful to you.



Of course the goal is always to eventually figure out what is behind the sensitivity/allergy so as to calm the nervous system and make someone less reactive.


Hope that helps. Sheila

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Thank you very much Sheila for your reply. In the past few days Leo has begun rolling his head back & sticking out his tongue which is not really very pretty to see. The family are due to go on holiday soon for 2 weeks & I have asked his mum to observe any changes in his behaviour as this could indicate that something in his home is a trigger. I haven't seen anyone mention reactions to pets, could this be possible?

I am interested in the articles you suggested, however both links seem to be to the same page.

Thanks for your help,


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