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Advice/support for 8 year old daughter

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Hi everyone.  I found this forum while searching to try to educate myself about something that I think I now have to face the reality of instead of just hoping it's a passing phase.  My now 8 year old daughter has been having fairly consistent tics for the past 2 years.  She started off with a vocal tic that would last 2-3 months and then be replaced by another vocal tic.  Fortunately they were sniffling and throat clearing so they didn't pique significant interest from teachers/peers.  After around 9 months of that she had a 2-3 month break before a short excessive blinking tic that lasted about a month.  After a month of nothing she started throat clearing again.  That lasted for 9 months.

During that 9 months we took her to three doctors (2 peds and 1 child psychologist) who were fairly dismissive.  Her primary care doctor thought it was an allergy, so we treated her with Zyrtec which reduced the throat clearing noticeably, but it was still there.  After the throat clearing disappeared in March 2019 within a few weeks she started sticking her tongue out for a second or licking her upper lip.

The doctors were not especially concerned and tried to reassure her mother and I that tics are pretty common and she'd likely grow out of them, but I have lost faith that will happen.  Fortunately the tics haven't impacted my daughter yet and she doesn't really exhibit any signs of comorbidities, but she's still quite young for those I think.  Both my wife and I had tics as children (she had at least 1 verbal and 1 motor which lasted more than a year and I had 2 motor that were less than a year that we know of), but as far as we and our parents can remember they didn't last as long as my daughter's.

I feel pretty hopeless because I'm afraid for her.  She's not the toughest/most resilient kid in the world and I fear she will take questioning/criticism pretty harshly.  She's one of the kindest people I know and it's so hard to be powerless to help her.

I was hoping some people could share their stories (if they haven't already) about how tics have affected them/their children as they grew up.  I kept wishing that the tics would stop like we were told they likely would, but they didn't and I think my daughter would qualify for a TS diagnosis at this point if we were to continue to seek professional guidance.  We of course will do it again if things escalate or she takes issue with her tics.  Right now she just thinks they are little quirky habits and it doesn't bother her.

My wife has been handling it very well.  I haven't been.  Picturing my daughter brings me to tears because I'm terrified that this will cause her to suffer and she's the last person that deserves it.

We decided to try Magnesium to see if that helps at all.  She's been on 165mg supplements each day for about 10 days and we haven't seen any change at this point.

I feel very alone and very scared and I guess I'm looking for someone with experience to help me understand that things can still be ok.  I watch others kids like a hawk now and barely notice them having tics...  I'm sorry this is dragging on, I guess I am just very lost.

Edited by sad_dad
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Hi Sad Dad, Welcome to the forums. I'm so sorry you are in this situation of feeling helpless. So many of us have had that awful feeling yet also been able to turn things around.

Please read a couple of articles on our site that give a overview of approaches people have found useful, linked below. (Don't count on one thing, like some magnesium, to be a silver bullet.)  Also I would suggest you get the book you see at the top of this page -- Stop your tics by finding what triggers them. It could be helpful in trying to get to the bottom of what is going on. 

Our other book, Natural Treatments for Tics and Tourettes --  both books are on Amazon--will give a broader picture beyond triggers, including nutritional supplements and ideas for lab testing if that were needed.   Lots of info from families who met with success with natural approaches are included in both.

Here are a couple of articles--remembering that everyone is different, just to give some concepts; you can find more on the site.



Our organization finds that tics are often allergy connected--and not just just throat/nasal, but rather an allergy that affects the brain. That allergic inflammation or immune response can be triggered by factors such as gut conditions, chemical exposures, typical allergens, or dietary issues. 

Please don't be sad. You've come to the right place to start looking for answers, and you seem like the type of parents who can find them.  Your daughter sounds like a sweet and lovely girl. It's good to continue to just think of the tics as habits and avoid her being self conscious of them.  

I hope this helps? Sheila 










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