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Tics worse outdoors only

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My daughter is currently 5 years old.


At the age of 3 she was making faces with her eyes when she was watching tv. I asked her to stop and it stopped few days after. 


Since last year she started doing the same face again. I took her to get her eyes checked just in case. 


Then her tics started changing to eye blinking, some nights she was pulling her face and upset about how she could not control it.


Current tics are: finger and/  or toes stretching and rocking her legs outside while she moves her arms to her chest or head.



The finger and toe stretching does not appear to bother her as they are least visible, however she is now getting upset about her leg rocking/rolling outside as she noticed that others are giving her looks when she does it.

I don't understand how it only happens outdoors.

She had a long list of allergies as an infant and now she is only allergic to cashew, pistachio, avocado (new one that she developed after biting the pit of a lychee) and rye grass.


She has also developed some irrational fears and is refusing to go to the toilet alone, and asked for some of her booked to be removed from her room as she doesn't like the pictures.

I don't know where to start and who to see for help.


So far I have:


- got a referral for a general paediatrician

- got some herbs from a Chinese medicine Doctor the other day

- giving her heaps of water as I feel her tics get worse when she is dehydrated

- started Avamys nasal spray again to control rye grass allergy

- stopped any processed food, dairy, sweet/artificial food

- commenced fish oil and multi vitamins.


I am based in Melbourne and I would like some guidance or recommendations of health professionals in VIC or Australia if possible.

Thank you





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HI Charlton, Welcome to the forums.

I'm sorry to read about your concerns with your daughter. Your detailed description of her issues is very interesting. It does seem that allergies are a significant key to her difficulties. This is a common link in kids with tics.

When did you start all the interventions you mentioned in your note (nasal spray, changing diet, etc)? 

Have you seen any improvement from those yet?

Did the pediatrician have any advice?

You might want to contact this clinic to see if they have any recommendations closer to you. https://invitationtohealth.com.au/

I mention it because it is listed on the American Academy of Environmental Medicine website for referrals showing that Dr. Yeoh attended training with them and they offer many of the approaches that have been helpful for some with an allergic connection to tics.    I hope that is some help. I'm sure there must be others who focus on nutritional support.

Please consider getting our book, if you have not done so. Natural Treatments for Tics and Tourette's.

We will watch for word back from you.  Sheila







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Thank you Sheila for your reply. At present our daughter has started vocal tics approx 1 week ago in addition to her motor tics (coughing to a point where she can almost throw up). But I have to say the vocal tic may not be new as she used to cough or sniff excessively in the past years and we thought it was attention seeking or related to her food allergy. Would she be considered tourette other than chronic tic due to the vocal tics?

Few weeks she reported that she needs to say or do the same thing over and over again when I asked her what she was doing (she was looking at me to make sure I was not watching her). She was very upset that I watched her and questioned her about it. I regretted it immediately as I did not know it was related to her Tic or possibly OCD? I just thought something was disturbing her as she had an uncomfortable nervous looking face and her breathing looked uncomfortable but possibly she was just pushing her stomach in (another tic that was observed) or squeezing her bottom (another tic she reported that she does repetitively). 

Our big success was finding out that quitting her meatball dish from the supermarket (contains sulphite) caused the complex tic (leg rolling while she moves her arms up and down outdoors). We know this as she stopped eating these meatballs for a few months when she commenced the chinese herbs (at the time of last posting) But soon as her tic improved we gave it to her thinking it would be ok as it's been her favourite food and that day she ate 3 times more than usual...but the next day bang! the leg rolling and arm moving started outdoors and even occurred in the house for approx 24 hours..


We also got a referral to see a neurosurgeon in March 2018 (long wait..)


-  Avamys nasal spray was restarted for approx 1 week at the time of posting but ceased as her tics got better once we limited dairy, processed food and sugar and commenced chinese herbs and we did not see any link between pollen count and her tic.

(Prior to that Avamys was used for approx 1.5 months since Sept 2017 as suggested by an Allergist and then recommenced for approx 1 week at the time of previous posting). I have been checking the pollen count to see if there was any correlation which did not seemed to be the case. 


- commenced fish oil and multi vitamins.===> this was a daily thing for a few years until i stopped it for approx 2 months this year when her tics got worse to see if it was causing the tics. However after reading art the benefits of fish oil and tics we started giving her again for approx 2 weeks at the time of posting and stopped again till today as her tics were getting better. we restarted the multi vitamin, calcium and fit d, fish oil and vet c and zinc again today as her tic (both motor and vocal) got worse yesterday at home. she rubs both arms against her body and blinks both eyes as she pulls faces and she clears her throat esp when she is watching shows, listening to her favourite songs or when I read books or when she is listening to me and she finds the topic fascinating or interesting.


We don't know if her tics got bad yesterday as we stopped the new hers given to us 2 days ago as it gave her night terrors and she could not wake from her bad dream but 30 mins 2 nights in a row. the chinese dr did say this new herb was meant to be stronger. I have contacted him today via email about this to see what he suggests.


Our plan now is:


- no scolding to provide a stress free environment as possible. (Her tics and anxiety definitely got worse she the birth of our 2nd daughter as we were unable to provide 100% attention to her compared to when she was single child. Also I have been more stressed out and having less patience with her due to the newborn and fatigue and no other support  as my husband changed jobs twice and the jobs required him to be away from home for weeks during the 2nd baby's newborn stage)

- read your book (hopefully it would arrive in the next 1-2 days) 

- contact the dr you recommended in NSW

- continue liaising with chinese dr

- continue vitamins and fish oil

- lots of exercise

- lots of water

- no screen time

- no or limited dairy (slice of cheese max a day or approx 100ml of milk or greek yoghurt) please let me know if this is not a good idea

- early bed time

- no processed meat

- commence some tic exercise i found on youtube that is supposed to be good for brain balance  (even if it doesn't work i thought it might be worth a try and keep her occupied for 10 mins a day as she will be bored without screen time and she is on school holidays until Feb)



Please advise me if I am on the right track or if I am missing anything...Thank you so much again for your advice!


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