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Hi, my son will be 4 years old next month and he was diagnosed with having a tic today. He's been shaking his head (like saying 'no') for a week. His pediatrician said it's an uncommon tic but it still a tic.

Part of me feels silly for making such a big deal of this and part of me feels so sad for him, worried, confused etc. My hope is that it goes away. My understanding is that that happens sometimes.

I know very little about tics. I know the basics but I don't know what triggered his (no major tics known in our family). Does anyone have any suggestions or advice?

Thanks -

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Hi! I'll jump in here, but I am sure there will be more to follow....

Welcome to our forum and we hope that we can help you.

Take a deep breath. The beginning is the hardest part. It will get easier with time, honestly. I think I lost the most sleep in the first three months after the onset.

 

Our cases are similar. My ds started his first tic just before he turned four as well. In our case we saw a dramatic change when we went gluten free, casein reduced, corn free, low sugar, and organic. So in our case the key was diet. There are many parents here who have tried different treatments and have kids with different triggers. Our job as parents is to play detective and figure out what our child's triggers are. It is not easy, but it can be done with some good sleuthing.

 

I just have a few questions for you to think about-- the answers may help lead you to possible causes and help you to pinpoint the best treatment options to start with.

How is he doing overall? Is he in preschool? What does the teacher report? Is he sleeping good? Does he appear to have digestive problems? How is he growing? Does he have seasonal allergies? What is his diet like? Has he recently been sick or been exposed to a virus or bacteria? When were his last vaccines? What was he given? Has he had a history of antibiotic use?

 

Many here start with an elimination of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives and see improvements almost right away. Vitamins are also a common option, as are epsom baths.

 

Anyway, welcome. I could ramble on but I am sure there will be plenty more with better things to say.

Caryn

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Thank you ladies for your posts and help. I'll answer some of the questions you asked and we'll go from there:

He's doing well overall.......of course with this diagnosis I feel like I'm second guessing everything he does. (if he asks me the same question a few times I wonder if that's also a tic, if he doesn't sit still I wonder if it's ADHD..............I'm over thinking all of this!) He's a typical little boy......he's very busy and always has been. He's very imaginative, loves trains and knows the different types of railcars etc.

He's not in preschool, I stay home with him and have since he was born. He did go to Mothers Day out 2 days a week last fall.

He has been sleeping pretty well lately at night. I haven't been inforcing naps alot lately so I know he's kind of grumpy because of that. We did just move (within the same area) so we've been really busy with stuff. He has seemed fine with the transistion---loves the house---we moved to 5 acres and he loves being outside.

 

No digestive problems. He does have some eczema/dry itchy skin that comes and goes but sea salt in his diet seems to help.

He's growing well.

Seasonal allergies........possibly but not noticed yet -- maybe as he gets older.

He had some sort of virus the week this started----fever of about 101 and poor appetite. That lasted a couple of days.

Last vaccines were when he turned 2 I think --- didn't have any at his 3 yr ckup. He's been on antibiotics only once ---for a staph infection. (from infected mosquito bite)

 

About a year and a 1/2 ago, he did have a week where he blinked his eyes a lot. I thought he was just being silly or something once I realized his vision wasn't in question --- that may have very well been a tic also. That's the only other time I've noticed anything.

 

You mentioned cutting out artificial flavors, colors, etc............I don't even know how to start that..........should I just stick with pure juices, non hormone milk, etc? He's never been a big candy eater but I'm already planning to limit sugars and increase his water intake. I really don't know where to begin with this.

Thanks again!

 

 

 

 

 

Hi! I'll jump in here, but I am sure there will be more to follow....

Welcome to our forum and we hope that we can help you.

Take a deep breath. The beginning is the hardest part. It will get easier with time, honestly. I think I lost the most sleep in the first three months after the onset.

 

Our cases are similar. My ds started his first tic just before he turned four as well. In our case we saw a dramatic change when we went gluten free, casein reduced, corn free, low sugar, and organic. So in our case the key was diet. There are many parents here who have tried different treatments and have kids with different triggers. Our job as parents is to play detective and figure out what our child's triggers are. It is not easy, but it can be done with some good sleuthing.

 

I just have a few questions for you to think about-- the answers may help lead you to possible causes and help you to pinpoint the best treatment options to start with.

How is he doing overall? Is he in preschool? What does the teacher report? Is he sleeping good? Does he appear to have digestive problems? How is he growing? Does he have seasonal allergies? What is his diet like? Has he recently been sick or been exposed to a virus or bacteria? When were his last vaccines? What was he given? Has he had a history of antibiotic use?

 

Many here start with an elimination of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives and see improvements almost right away. Vitamins are also a common option, as are epsom baths.

 

Anyway, welcome. I could ramble on but I am sure there will be plenty more with better things to say.

Caryn

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Hi..the blinking episode that you mentioned..it seems to correlate with the last time he had vaccinations..around 2. If the blinking episode happened within two or so months after his 2 year vaccinations..I'd say they are related....as I would say this episode is related to the recent virus/illness you said he had. My son had a stuttering episode not too ong after his kindergarten shots.

 

Kelly

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Wyatt's Mom,

Is your child functioning above average for his age? There seems to be many reports of childhood tics among gifted children (not TS symptoms or Pandas, etc....) I am just talking about light ticcing here--

The theory is because these kids are overachievers they tend to have tremendous more stress that they put on themselves, perfectionism, etc.... And with the recent move he may be feeling more anxiety than most.

It sounds to me like Wyatt has a very mild case and I wouldn't worry too much. Just keep an eye on him and see if it increases.

Caryn

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Wyattsmom,

 

I've been there. I understand the fear, and the second guessing you talk about was a huge issue for me. I'm an over thinker too. When my son was diagnosed with a tic disorder, I began to attribute everything he did to that disorder. When we were in a parking lot, he stopped, bent down and touched the ground with one finger; then he did it again. I saw a tic. It turned out to be a four-year old boy who was trying to squish an ant. He didn't get the job done the first time. Fortunately, he showed it to me before I passed out!

 

Here are some things that helped me. They might give you some comfort:

 

He is 99 parts kid, and 1 part kid with a tic.

 

Next time you take him to the park, turn your observational skills on the other kids. Kids are wierd. They do wierd things. (Seriously, how many times do you need to try sand before you realize its gritty and tastes bad?) As an added bonus, I can almost guarantee you will see another kid tic, and his mother probably doesn't even know.

 

Realize that his tic is probably not bothering him as much as it is bothering you. (If it bothers him at all.) My son is so unaffected by his tics. I, on the other hand, have the ability to picture him as an adult with the full-blown David E. Kelly* version of Tourette's.

 

As far as his diet goes, start by educating yourself about our food supply. You probably already know more than I did when I had to start reading labels. For example, I thought there was actually fruit in fruit roll-ups. Most people know that label ingredients are listed in order of volume, the first item being present in the largest quantity. I knew that, but I never really looked at my kid's vitamins before because I knew vitamins were good. It turns out the food dyes and preservatives were in the MIDDLE of the list. Its bad enough they were there in the first place, but shouldn't they at least be at the end? How can there be more Red 40 than vitamin A or Folate?

 

I hope this helps a little.

 

 

*talented and successful television writer/producer who, for some unknown reason, feels the need to use characters with neurological, developmental, and cognitive disabilities to achieve comedy.

 

Tami

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Welcome! You mentioned your child had a temp and some sort of virus, did you test for strep? I have a PANDAS child who just started knodding his one day. With-in a few days it was 5-10 times a minute and I took him to the doctor. They said it was just a childhood tic and not to worry. In the next few weeks it got worse, he was very emotional, and could not even write his name anymore. They told me it was because of his tic and he was embarrassed that is why he was so emotional. I told her something was wrong and when she consulted with the head doctor they decided to do strep test(no symptoms) and it was positive! Long story, but tic is gone with the use of penicillin and other natural meds. Either doing a blood test or a swab I would ask, it can't hurt to try! We are all here for you. I know how lost you feel right now we have all been there and the only way our children are getting better is by is being so pro-active. :)

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Thanks Moms for your support. It gives me peace to know that I can talk to you all and you can relate. :)

The eye blinking may have been around the time of his vaccinations. That whole topic is so 'iffy' to me-----I hear conflicting info on vaccinations all the time. I've been on both sides of the issue. That's a slippery slope. I'll keep an eye on him for his next set.

Is he above average for his age-----I don't know to be quite honest. He may be in some areas--he's been talking pretty well since before he was 2 years old (and hasn't stopped! lol) and he is very interested in mechanics of things. (car parts, train parts, engines, how things are built etc) At the same time, he can't count past number 11 and only recognizes about 4 letters of the alphabet-------so, I don't know. We're pretty strict with him as far as manners etc go so maybe he feels stress from that but that seems silly. It's nothing new that we're strict about that.

When we rub his neck he doesn't do it at all. That's interesting to me. I think I might look into chiropractic and see if that helps at all. Thanks again!

Shannon (Wyatts mom)

 

 

 

Wyatt's Mom,

Is your child functioning above average for his age? There seems to be many reports of childhood tics among gifted children (not TS symptoms or Pandas, etc....) I am just talking about light ticcing here--

The theory is because these kids are overachievers they tend to have tremendous more stress that they put on themselves, perfectionism, etc.... And with the recent move he may be feeling more anxiety than most.

It sounds to me like Wyatt has a very mild case and I wouldn't worry too much. Just keep an eye on him and see if it increases.

Caryn

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Hi -- yes, he had a temp and at the pedi office they did a strep test and it was negative. That was the doctors thought, that it might be strep. Turns out it was just some sort of virus that ran it's course I guess. Interesting though about your child. Thanks for replying to my post.

 

 

Welcome! You mentioned your child had a temp and some sort of virus, did you test for strep? I have a PANDAS child who just started knodding his one day. With-in a few days it was 5-10 times a minute and I took him to the doctor. They said it was just a childhood tic and not to worry. In the next few weeks it got worse, he was very emotional, and could not even write his name anymore. They told me it was because of his tic and he was embarrassed that is why he was so emotional. I told her something was wrong and when she consulted with the head doctor they decided to do strep test(no symptoms) and it was positive! Long story, but tic is gone with the use of penicillin and other natural meds. Either doing a blood test or a swab I would ask, it can't hurt to try! We are all here for you. I know how lost you feel right now we have all been there and the only way our children are getting better is by is being so pro-active. :)
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One more thing..............the night he started doing this 'head shaking' thing, we had taken him to see a movie. It was a PG movie and we took him for Valentines day---looking back on it, I wouldn't take him to see that movie again as it was a little too much. (Spiderwick Chronicles) It probably would have worked better for a 6+ age. He's not one to be scared of monsters and stuff (this movie had some goblins and a few kind of scary parts) and he never has acted like it bothered him at all. However, the first time I ever noticed his head shake thing, was at this movie. It hasn't stopped since. (that was a week and 1 day ago) He's been to movies before. (Cars, Alvin & Chipmonks, Waterhorse etc)

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Movies and blinking lights and loud noises can cause the tics to intensify. My son wants to see the movie Spiderwick and I wonder if I should reconsider it. I did not let him see Alvin because he mimics things and I thought he might pick up on bad actions/sayings from it. I have to be careful about what he watches. He is easily influenced! Also computer screens and televisions can make tics worse. Try to pay attention to how they affect him.

 

 

Michele

 

One more thing..............the night he started doing this 'head shaking' thing, we had taken him to see a movie. It was a PG movie and we took him for Valentines day---looking back on it, I wouldn't take him to see that movie again as it was a little too much. (Spiderwick Chronicles) It probably would have worked better for a 6+ age. He's not one to be scared of monsters and stuff (this movie had some goblins and a few kind of scary parts) and he never has acted like it bothered him at all. However, the first time I ever noticed his head shake thing, was at this movie. It hasn't stopped since. (that was a week and 1 day ago) He's been to movies before. (Cars, Alvin & Chipmonks, Waterhorse etc)
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Shannon,

Chiropractor is a good idea. We did that with our son. He had injured himself playing and the muscles in his neck were pretty bad. The doc made three adjustments and he was great after that. I know there is some anecdotal evidence about chiro for tics. In our case our son had multiple tics and the chiro visit did not resolve our issue. All moms here will tell you that stress plays a major role. He will probably settle down in time. He probably inherits some of that worrying from you and with the new house and everything, his stuff out of place, his routines out of order, he may just be keyed up.

Caryn

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Hi Shannon and welcome to the forum :)

 

hoping you will find clues to help your lil guy from the many experiences shared here

 

my son limits trips to the movies big time as he definitely tics more from multiple triggers there, from the flashing screen in a darkened room, to the loud base and high treble sounds, and especially to the chemical cleaners, pesticides, perfumes, etc etc

 

eye blinking/rolling and head nods or shaking are actually very common tics, both in transient tic disorders and TS

 

there is a good article on tic triggers on the Latitudes main page for TS that may help you identify some,

and you will also find other good stuff there, including info on a really helpful book

http://www.latitudes.org/tics_tourettes.htm

 

Plus this forum is overflowing with info on other things that can cause tics

 

just keep reading and asking questions and you will hopefully soon find answers that can help your son

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I have an appointment for Wyatt at the chiropractor next week. I'm hoping that might help. My son and husband are watching TV right now and about 2 minutes ago he was shaking his head alot but now my husband is rubbing the back of his neck/upper back and it stopped. It always does when we do that. I have I'm not jinxing it. :)

I'm really so blessed. I'm trying not to focus too much on it. I don't know if any of you have heard of or how you feel about "the secret" but I am a believer in the idea that what we put our energy into, is what comes back to us. It doesn't do any good to focus on anything negative anyway.

We all have amazing children and God made them the way they are for a reason. :)

I'll moniter the movies thing from now on. He's seen movies before and never had a problem. I sure hope he didn't inherit my 'worrying'. That's no fun for anyone. :)

 

 

 

Hi Shannon and welcome to the forum :)

 

hoping you will find clues to help your lil guy from the many experiences shared here

 

my son limits trips to the movies big time as he definitely tics more from multiple triggers there, from the flashing screen in a darkened room, to the loud base and high treble sounds, and especially to the chemical cleaners, pesticides, perfumes, etc etc

 

eye blinking/rolling and head nods or shaking are actually very common tics, both in transient tic disorders and TS

 

there is a good article on tic triggers on the Latitudes main page for TS that may help you identify some,

and you will also find other good stuff there, including info on a really helpful book

http://www.latitudes.org/tics_tourettes.htm

 

Plus this forum is overflowing with info on other things that can cause tics

 

just keep reading and asking questions and you will hopefully soon find answers that can help your son

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