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My daughter started to experience tics/ocd late (16 years old). She started a little more than four-five months ago (turned up with high strep titres, and in the last couple of weeks we have had some relief with antibiotics).

 

She has always been an A student, with a rogue B here and there. We just received the Quarterly Report Card, and it is a solid mix (half/half) of As and Bs.

 

My daughter seems OK with it. I don't know whether the change is because (1) she is trying to deal with school, and tics/ocd, and now antibiotics and nutritional supplements, (2) she isn't working as hard because I believe stress is a trigger for her, so I have virtually stopped all "reminders" that she should be working/studying, or (3) everything is just harder as she gets further into high school. I am thinking it is one of the first two.

 

So, my question is: Does anyone feel the tics affect academics? Do I give her a "break" because of what she is dealing with, or should I continue to treat her the same as always

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Emma1,

 

Such a tough question. I have been in the same place with both boys at one time or another, as I suppose most here have.

 

Dopamine, which is almost always talked about, in relationship to tics (whether overly received or under utilized) is part of the motivation and reward mechanisms, (although A's & B's seem pretty motivated and rewarding to me!)

 

My youngest son, who has been for the most part, a breeze in the acedemic dept. had a horrible time transitioning to middle shcool. It doesn't seem to be a lack of focus, but a lack of organization.

 

I found the good ole fashioned things to be helpful. Reminding him to clean out his planner, so he has his writting journel with him (instead of forgettting it in his locker and getting a 0 for the friday check), having homework time earlier, and a lot of gentle reminders. I'm trying to praise the improvement a lot too. I guess it's kind of a balancing act, and I wonder about the same thing that you are. What is normal and what may be tied to things that he can't help.

 

Sorry, I'm not more help, I guess I would say, just follow your instincts.

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the OCD part is the hardest part, which in our case is of course due or goes alongside the TS. Our daughter is highly anxious and worries ALTHOUGH she is horribly disorganized and falls apart easily at home. getting her to do anything is so hard for me. math is extremely difficult. i had a tutor this summer and it went well but it was very expensive. i do think that kids with tics are very sensitive and have great senses of humor. Our eight year old has such an "aware" sense. she's also very funny...but i do find that i have to remind her. two steps are hard for her. she does well at school but at home she has a hard time. i have to say "go do this and come back"--then she comes back and i have to give her the next thing. she gets very overwhelmed. i asked dr murphy at UF why it is so hard and why she is so stubborn and emotional and hard to deal with. the other doctor said "it's so hard for her. her OCD and worries have her so occupied that she can't focus on much more, it's a lot on her emotionally."---so the question is how hard to be on them? i don't know, wish i had all the answers. I do think that the disorganization and anxiety is my hardest thing right now. and of course that affects academics.

You are right, gentle reminders. that's hard sometimes as it is so obvious to me that she has to clean out her planner and put her things in her backpack the night before. but to her it's a challenge. it's hard to know how much to help and how she will learn. again, wish i had the answer for that one. i just work on doing it with love instead of in anger or impatience. some days are easier than others!

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