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tics are back. What could it be?

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Hi, my ds has struggled with Tourettes, OCD and ADHD for four years (he is now 12). It took us about 2 years to finally find something that helped him, which was the dental appliances that Dr. Stack uses ( our doctor is an associate/friend of his in Southern California).


When my son was fitted for his mouth piece, we saw a decrease in tics by about 60 percent. No improvement with his OCD and very mild improvement with his ADHD. About 6 months after we started with his retainer we found an amazing Naturopath. She started running several tests on my son and all came back normal (no major food allergies, no enviromental allergies). Finally, we got a test result back that was extremely abnormal and that was that my sons amino acid count on every one was extremely low.


She started my son on an amino acid supplement and over the next few months my son became tic free. We also noticed that my son could follow direction at home much better, that he was maturing rapidly and that he was able to really process information and retain it much easier. We were thrilled!!!


I felt that we had found the combo that worked for my son. Clearly part of his issue was structural/TMJ and part was the amino acids. We continued with the retainers, the amino acids, other supplements that were recommended by the Naturopath and also food restrictions that I noticed made his ADHD flare (corn, soy, food dye, nitrates).


Usually my sons tics get worse in the spring and the fall. I could never figure that out since he had tested negative for all environmental allergies. Last year (2013) our spring and fall were great (because of the retainer and the supplements I assume)t!!!! But then this last February (2014), my son caught this horrible cough that was going around. We took him to two different doctors and both said that it was nothing to worry about and it was probably going to last six weeks (no strep). They were right.


Although since then in the morning when he wakes up he seems to have to cough often before breakfast. During that time, we allowed my son to sleep without his retainers (in hopes of helping him breather easier). When he was feeling better, the retainers no longer had fit him as his teeth had moved and we went back to the TMJ specialist. He ended up making a different type of retainer for my son, because he needed to start allowing my sons teeth to come in quicker to get him ready for braces.


During the weeks that my son had the cough and the time it took to have the new retainer made, my sons tics did not come back. He now has the new retainer but unfortunately, his tics have gone from nothing to moderate in the last month. The timing is exactly the same time in the two springs (2011 and 2012) that he got really bad. I am frustrated and trying to figure out what is happening. Is it because he has several teeth growing in and its a structural thing, or is it because it is spring and something is triggering it?


I contacted my TMJ specialist and made him aware of this. He says that he has to let these teeth come in and fall into place and that the current retainer that my ds is wearing is holding his lower jaw in the correct position. Does anybody have any suggestions of what could possibly be triggering my son? I go see our Naturopath next week and want to have maybe more of an understanding before I see her.


Thank you,


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Hi tstryker, It sounds like you've made some good progress with your son. We know that setbacks are tough to take though.


A couple of things struck me. It would seem that your own observation that tics are typically worse in the spring and the fall could contradict what you were told by your naturopath --that there were "no environmental allergies." I would not assume that statement to be accurate—or perhaps it is a difference in terminology and there are intolerances that don't fall under her definition of allergy. Or maybe she was talking about that particular testing day?


No one gets it right all the time, especially if this was based on muscle testing which is an approach some find helpful, but results can vary widely. Don't let that comment keep you from exploring environmental possibilities.


You were also told by her at the time that there were no major food allergies, yet you have noticed foods that make the tics flare: corn, soy, food dye, nitrates. It's great you have been able to figure that out on your own. Whether your son is experiencing classic food allergy or an intolerance or sensitivity, focus on your own observations.


I'd start watching with an open mind for what might possibly be playing a role at home, school (in school?) or outside the home.


It might be a good idea to print this list below and think about what might be involved. Could you let us know what you suspect on this list?




By the way, we are preparing an article on mouth appliances and will ask the specialist about letting teeth grow in.


Wishing you lots of luck and hoping to hear back from you, Sheila

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