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If you know the triggers should they be avoided?

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Hi I'm new & its regarding my 6yrs son. To cut a long story short he has had tics on & off for about 18months now. Head flicks, eyebrow raising/frowning & body jolts. I suspect some vocal tics but if find it hard to tell the difference between 'messing about with speech' child behaviours & vocal tics.

I read serval posts on here & have experimented with going gluten & diary free. At first I reduced these foods & noticed the tics reduce so I took them out completely. I also noticed him tic more infront of TV so again we've gone TV free for over a year now. We hardly ever notice the tics now unless he's been able to watch TV for 10 mins or so ( the tics come on almost instantly & stay for about a week).

Recently we've noticed that dark rooms with disco lights & party environments have triggered the tics.


By big question is am I doing the right thing by avoiding the tics?

It really hasnt been easy but I 'm doing my best to help him.

My children are happy being TV free although I know they loved to watch it. My husband hates this & keeps telling me that they'll start to feel socially different. I'm doing all I can to combat this -eg if the craze is TMN turtles or Frozen I do my best & get them books & toys so that know the characters & storylines, do lots of themed character role play.


I'm also trying to be gentle with the diet difference; I still take them to parties but bring my own homemade cakes & sweets to parties, or during Halloween play a swap game with the kids for GF candy & DF chocolate that but again I have my husband telling me that I'm making my kids feel odd.

They are very aware that they dont eat wheat or milk & sometimes ask me why - I dont feel it appropriate to tell then at this age yet - I dont want to cause more anxiety to them so I just say 'we're just trying to be more healthy, it might not forever.....'


I used to think I was doing the right things, I'm helping my son to manage his tics & get on in life thats a good thing right?. But the constant conflict between my husbands & my ideas of how to help is making me doubt myself - he really make me feel bullied.

It really isn't a problem at all to make these life changes, but out of our home 'bubble' it is harder. Its me doing making all the effort & I'm prepared to do it - I've felt I've managed it well for the family, but my husband doesn't feel the same.


My son has a twin sister so to make my life easier & so not the make my son feel left out, jealous & self conscious I do the same for both of them - perhaps I'm being unfair? But at the same time she has had bad eczema, wheezing & geographic tongue all her life & since the diet changes they've cleared up! So i justify it by the fact that I'm helping them both.

Do I keep going avoiding the triggers or do I give up & go back to how it was knowing that my son tics will worsen?

If you know/knew the tic triggers would you avoid them?




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I think being up front with your kids (to the extent that they get what you're telling them) is the best thing. My son knew he had to deal with restrictions that other kids didn't have to deal with, but we always let him know that the changes were in his best interest. We also tried to compensate with other kinds of rewards when it was possible and appropriate to do so. Halloween was hard. But more for us than him, because we thought he would feel different. But he didn't. He still trick or treated with his friends, brought the crap home, and we subsituted it for other things that made him just as happy. Kids are more resilient than we suspect, I think.


The ironic thing is, feeding your kids good stuff usually ends up being a non-issue for them. The habitual longing for the junk goes away eventually, after it has been substituted with a healthier "habit" -- healthy eating.


My wife would probably not have been as thorough as I insisted we be as we worked our way through things. She's rolled her eyes on more than one ocassion. But she was the one who, in the end, did most of the hard work: shopping and preparing meals. So I really do recognize the importance of teamwork when dealing with kids' health concerns.


One thing I can say with confidence, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Poor diets affect lots of kids adversely, whether the parents pick up on it or not. Over time, I've seen kids my son has contact with develop issues who seemed to be perfectly fine when my son was having his issues. It's not easy to have a healthy diet nowadays. And bad diet will get kids sooner or later.


Finally, with regard to tv… my kids watch tv. Probably too much. I'm not proud of it. Lots of folks I know have never let their kids watch tv period. Tics has nothing to do with it for them. They believe tv adversely affects a child's development. Those kids are all perfectly normal, if not intelectual "high performers." They are not social outcasts. I know your children have two parents, and when each has a different opion, negotiation is part of the picture. But don't feel you're doing wrong by not letting your children watch tv. You're probably doing them a big favor.


Good luck!





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Recently I put my children on a GF/DF diet. When they have gluten it effects them. My son will tic and my daughter has gastro issues. I have also determined over the past 2 years many preservatives, artificial colors effect my kids. This Halloween was the first year they were GF/DF. One of my son's friends told him how on Halloween night he leaves all his candy out and the Candy Fairy who takes it and leaves a present. Needless to say this Halloween the Candy Fairy started coming to our house.

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Yes I do think that when triggers are clear and they are bothersome in the way they increase the tics, then avoid those things


But always be careful that the child does not think they are being "punished" for ticcing and therefore losing certain things they like.....balance is key and being honest with kids can pay great dividends

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Hi & thank you all so much for advice & supportive comments, its really does help. It reminds me that I need to stay strong & keep focussed - I am doing all these things for a good reason, I'm not a crazy cuckoo or whacky!

Guess I'm just feeling the stress & strain of trying to help manage the tics - its such a knock back when theres a flare up, makes you feel that everything you've being doing & trying has been all for nothing. Especially with 'an anti everything I do' partner.

The head flick & eyebrow combo is back after 18months & unfortunately I cant tell for sure what the trigger was; the Maltesser chocolate (wheat & dairy) that my husband gave him or the 40mins+ of video gaming/viewing my husband allowed - probably a combination of both . I'm just having to put all my hope & faith into the waxing/waning theory.

Have to say I'm tempted to keep my son off school this week as he hasn't interested in learning or co-operating to do work, very oppositional infact - last thing he needs is the teacher coming down heavy on him.

I think it must be the frustration he feels over not having total control over his body & not understanding why. It must be very confusing to be aware that one day you could do something & the next day you cant. His self- confidence plummets. He doesn't like to try things if he feels he's going to fail. He absolutely hates putting pen to paper to form letters; will often spell thing backwards too; when the tics are bad. Its like theres a massive regression in his fine motor skills & co-ordination. Has anyone else observed these kind of parallel behaviour to tic cycles?

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With the TV, you might like to try putting a Himalayan Salt Lamp in the room. Depends if it's the ions or flickering lights that are the trigger for your child, but the salt lamps turn the negative ions from electronic equipment and positively charge them. Here is a link to perhaps look at. Just worth a thought


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