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New to tics


wbird99
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I have a seven year old son who has been experiencing tics for about a month and a half now. It started with humming that was more like having the hiccoughs - "mm"..."mm"..."mm mm", etc. Not a tune, just a "m" sound every few seconds. The finger chewing may have started before that - he constantly has his fingers in his mouth. Now he has a few more - there's a shoulder jerking thing, a clicking noise in the back of his throat, throat clearing and repeated nose touching. The chewing and the vocal tics are constant. He doesn't go more than 30 seconds without making some sort of noise.

 

Ds also has had night terrors for the last year or so. He wakes up more nights than not. He started out being terrified, but now he's just disoriented and agitated. Last night he was upset because everything was upside down and we didn't have any broccoli. Some nights he says he's trying to fix something. Sometimes I can't understand what he's saying. He never remembers any of it in the morning and he's definitely asleep during the whole ordeal.

 

At about the same time the night terrors started ds went through a weird phase where he was chewing through his shirt sleeves and licking his lips until they hurt. I didn't think much of it at the time but now I think those may have been tics as well.

 

We had some issues when he was younger - at 3.5 we were told he had a "significant" speech delay of at least 18 months. We fixed that with two years of speech therapy. I think that Suzuki violin has helped incredibly with some of the social issues he had when he was younger. He also had some OCD behaviors when he was a toddler. A lot of the quirky things seemed to develop (and language development seemed to stop) after the MMR.

 

Ds likes routine and stability. He is constantly asking me what we're doing next, what we're eating at our next meal, what we're doing tomorrow, etc.

 

We saw our family doctor and he said this was out of his area of expertise so he has referred us to a pediatric psychiatrist. I'd like to make sure that I'm prepared for this appointment so any advice on what to ask or what to share with her would be appreciated.

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Hi and welcome :)

 

you are very wise to become informed before going to the appt with the psychiatrist and other physicians as sadly, a majority of mainstream docs just are not educated on many of the possible causes of tics etc and can sometimes give Tourette or other neurological diagnoses that may not be accurate

 

PLEASE do be very cautious if they want to prescribe any psychiatric meds for the tics. ...especially as these tics and other behaviours could be related to a number of "triggers' which, when identified and treated for, can sometimes bring complete tic remission. In many cases, things like strep or other infections can cause this (see discussions here on PANDAS & PITANDS) and sometimes even a food allergy (most often dairy, gluten or most commonly artificial and chemical food additives) can cause tics and other neurological symptoms, and yes, so can vaccines

 

there is a lot of info here and many members with experiences to share so I hope you will just keep steadily reading thru threads and asking questions

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Hello wbird and welcome,

May I ask why your doctor referred you to a pediatric psychiatrist? I'm not sure how much help that will be. Have you been to a ped. neurologist yet? That is usually the first stop, although again, there may not be much there either. But you should at least cover the bases and start somewhere, maybe one of the docs will provide some useful direction.

 

Could I ask if you have read much here and some of the topics discussed? Have you tried any supplements of any kind? What about his diet? Does he consume alot of dairy? Perhaps you could try cutting that out and see if there is any improvement in the vocal and the sleep problems? Was there a speech delay as in not talking yet, or a problem with pronunciations? When exactly did he get the MMR? Did he have any shots prior to starting Kindergarten too? Is he diagnosed autistic or no?

 

I think a good book for you to peruse would be "Is This Your Child" by Doris Rapp. It explains how some behaviors and childhood issues such as ADHD could be linked to allergies and sensitivities to foods and chemicals. Its a good start in understanding natural treatments for neurological issues.

 

Faith

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Hi there!

 

I am sorry to hear your son is dealing with theses things. I know it is hard. But I promise you there are ways to help!

 

My son Daniel has made noises since he was three and started doing facial movements at four. But the funny thing is I never tied his shirt chewing / cloth chewing into the whole mix until about the age of 5. Daniel would chew on clothing and pillows horrible. He would also chew on toys. Anytime Daniel starts getting overloaded with artificial food dyes he starts the chewing. As soon as it clears out of his system it all comes to a stop. Over Christmas, for example, I let him have way too many treats that contained artificial food dyes and the chewing all started up again.

 

I actually read on Dr. Fiengold's website that chewing cloth is one of the indicators that a person is having a reaction to artificial food dyes. It was from reading this that I started putting together the fact the chewing was tied in with tics.

 

The main food dyes/chemicals that bother my son are Yellow #5, Yellow #6, Red #40, Caramel Color, Vanillin and High Fructose Corn Syrup. The one that brings on the tics the hardest is MSG. I have done many postings about this because MSG is my son's biggest enemy. MSG is hidden under many different names. Here is the link I did to the MSG information http://www.latitudes.org/forums/index.php?...p;mode=threaded .

 

Along with the dietary changes we have Daniel on a lot of supplements. One of the most important is Magnesium Taurate and also B vitamins. These both help the nervous system. We use a product by Bonnie Grimaldi called TS-Plus that is balanced especially for people with Tourettes/Tics. Many people on the forum use it. A few experience an increase in tics because of one of the B vitamins in it. But most people seem to tolerate it well. Also getting Omega's going are really key too. Nordic Naturals makes a really good Omega product for children. We use many other supplements to like pro-biotics to give him good bacteria in his gut and enzymes to help him digest food better.

 

Very few people know he has any tics at all. It has been a major effort but worth all the time I have put into it to understand how to help him.

 

I am starting to wonder if my 2 year old daughter is not developing tics. She is starting to blow her lips a lot and she chews her nails horrible. I am so hoping she does not but at least I understand a lot about this and I can be prepared to start her on the same regimen as my son.

 

Have a great day and I will be praying for your son.

 

Carolyn N.

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wbird,

 

It is possible that your general practitioner has referred you to a pediatric psychiatrist because of some of the developmental issues you say your son experienced earlier (speech delay, social issues, adherance to routine, quirkiness). These are things that they see regularly. I don't think you will get any help for the tics there, though. And sadly, I think Faith is right about the neurologist too.

 

I would suggest that you instead bypass the chain of referrals and see a specialist called a DAN Doctor. This kind of specialist can address all of the issues simultaneously, including the tics. I think you will get your answers faster this way.

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Thanks so much for the replies. I'm still trying to figure all of this out.

 

I'll try to answer some of the questions asked.

 

I think my dr was looking at the tics along with some of the dev issues. He mentioned that maybe we're dealing with mild autism or OCD - he did not mention TS.

 

I have been reading a lot of threads here and I've also been reading a lot of threads on another TS site. It worries me that there is such a gulf between what you guys are discussing over here and what is being discussed at the other site. They're a lot more medical - no mention of supplements or dietary changes, just medication. I really want medication to be our very last resort.

 

We do consume dairy, I could try cutting that out and see what it does.

 

His speech was progressing fine until about 15 months when all development stopped. He made a lot of noises, but had very, very few words. His receptive language was excellent. Once we began speech therapy he really progressed.

 

He had all regular vaccinations up to the MMR at 15 months. I haven't given him anything since then although we're scheduled to go in for the DPT in a couple of weeks. He has not been diagnosed with autism.

 

Weird thing happened last night. He had a night terror but it was very different. This time he said his hands hurt - right inside his palms. He was in terrible pain and was doing everything he could to try to stop it, rubbing his hands, even hitting them together. This went on for about 10 minutes, then he said it was gone and he went laid down again.

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wbird,

 

You're right -- there is a huge gulf, and its a personal decision. For me, this is home.

 

My son had a huge tic explosion within days of the DTaP. It triggered his disorder. I would at the very least wait until your boy is more stable before even considering this vaccine. He may have something in his system that it can aggravate. I am by no means the first person to report this phenomenon.

 

I believe this vaccine is contraindicated in individuals who have previously reacted to vaccine or who have neurological disorders. Since your doctor suspects your son may have undetected high functioning autism or OCD or a tic disorder . . . I'm just confused!

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wbird,

I was browsing today on red 40 for a friend who was over today (she has twins, one autistic and the other has emotional outbursts in school), she had some gatorade for her kids to drink and that just got me started! I told her to look up some things when she got home.

 

Well, here is something I found that made me think of your post. It is from the Feingold site and is a testimonial from a parent talking about a couple of the issues that you are dealing with, such as the chewing and night terrors. As Carolyn has suggested, the red and blue dyes could be causing some of these problems and Feingold addresses this. This might be one of the things to look into as far as diet goes. Sorry to give you too much info at once, but at least you'll have an idea of what the possibilities. Don't get overwhelmed, slow and steady.

 

Click on the fourth bullet from the bottom (D.G. 4 yr old, ...)

 

http://www.feingold.org/pg-success.html

 

 

 

Faith

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