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509momof2

Child is ticcing, how do I calm myself down?

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Hi there - 

My 9 yo son has had what our doctor called transient tics on and off for a year.  They started after he had pneumonia last winter, with a throat clearing that was legit at first, then we realized he was just doing it over - and over - and over, well after he was better.  Then last summer, those went away and he had a very mild shoulder thing where he would sort of roll his shoulders back like he was stretching, and he always seemed like he had to stretch.  Then we were so happy when everything went away in the fall, and all continued to be well until this spring, when he got a cold and the throat clearing continued,  Then it stopped, and the stretching motion came on.  

Now he's not stretching, but the throat clearing is back, with a high pitched sigh/squeal (or what sounds ike it), or humming a song. For the squeal, he says he's clearing this throat and he has to do it.  I'm really stressed out and have cried several times tonight, worried that it's getting worse (he's never had two things go on at the same time).  I'm especially worried about him going to school next week and making audible noises in class.  I'm turning to this forum for advice, and really advice for me - how do I not feel so upset?  I know things could be much worse.  Where do I turn?  Do I call the pediatrician?  Does he need a neurologist?

Any advice is appreciated. 

 

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I am not an expert in this by any means, but I also have a 9 year old with tics.  I have been a basket case, but through it all, my boy is fine.  Here's what I do to calm myself.  I ask myself 'is he being affected adversely by the tics? (bullying, self consciousness, distraction) ' So far the answer has been no.  'So what is my role in all this?'  To provide for my kid and be strong if he needs me.  So far he doesn't need me, so the bigger problem is in me and not him (which is good, because we are capable of changing ourselves if not others).  In preparation for school, I wrote his new teacher a note explaining what is happening with the tics.  I am happy to share it with you if you like. For me, I have a therapist that I am working with because rationally, I know the tics are a tiny part of who my son is but emotionally, I get very anxious. Again, that is on me and I have the power to put things in a better perspective.

In terms of treatment for our son, we started with the pediatrician, who referred us to a pediatric neurologist.  We saw two.  One was awful ("well, then it's Tourette's").  The other was so much more reassuring ("Yup, your son has tics.  He is in no danger.  Try to get him involved in things that keep him focused and help him find ways to relax").  Hearing the two very different voices was disturbing, but at least both concurred that there is nothing more serious going on.   Despite the emotional rollercoaster that the first neurologist created, I am grateful to have taken our son to a neurologist because I know that his general health is not in jeopardy. 

I still get very anxious and I still cry, but it helps knowing that I've taken appropriate actions for my son and for myself.  

Yours in empathy,

 

Sarah

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509Momof2

I empathize with you. My DS is 9 as well and has tics that started this year.  We are working on diet to help. I too am worried and sad.  I hope the school year started off well for your son. 

 

Sarah

I really took your response to heart. Thanks for taking the time to write it. So many good points. 

 

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