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Vocal tics


Hope
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My son is almost 11 and in 5th grade. He has had tics since around age 8. They have gone unnoticed by most until recently. The main tics are vocal. He only has them less than 5% of the day. We had a week off from school this week and most of the time I didn't see or hear any tics. The main times I notice the tics are times of transition, like when he comes to the table for dinner or sits down to say family prayers. We attending church this morning and church seems to be a big trigger for him. It is hard to stay quiet for over an hour! The vocal tics started about 30 mins into the service. They are a series of vocalizations. "Ti, ha, da, hmmm, yheeesh" he repeats it over and over several times and then stops. He tries to do it quietly but it is so hard. Just breaks my heart because I know he wishes he didn't have to do it and during church it is so quiet and every looks to see who is making noise.

 

He has a few motor tics. My husband took the kids sledding yesterday and he said he noticed the head shaking tic when they first started sledding. I am sure he was very stimulated and excited to be sledding!

 

So what can we do to help ease these tics? I have read that L-carnitine can help. He is a slim guy at only 75 lbs. What dosage would be good?

 

Is there anything else known to help with vocals?

 

We started seeing a naturopath recently. ALCAT blood tests showed a wide variety of intolerances. Severe intolerance to fructose, white potatoes, gliadin in gluten, casein in milk....so he is currently GFCF and no fructose or potatoes and a host of other things. We haven't allowed HFCS in years or artificial anything. He has been amazing about the whole thing.

 

Naturopath thinks we are on the right track and wants to see him in 6 months. The vocals are consistent and I would like to try something to help reduce them.

 

Any advice is appreciated!

Thanks and God bless!

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Hi Hope,

I had to reply because I could have wrote this post, it sounds like we have the same symptoms and because together, we sound like that sitcom "Hope and Faith", lol (yea, I'm the ditzy one.. :) ...:wacko: ) My son's sounds are something like "ohyesoh" or "ah"........ And I hear you about Church, he came with me a few weeks ago and I felt so bad for making him come, he was so uncomfortable, I can't do that when he's waxing. sometimes it wanes and he can keep control, but its hard when you do hear them.

 

I think what you're trying re the ALCAT, you may find something there, but its trial and error. my guy is skinny too, same age, but weighs much less than yours, so I have had a hard time keeping up with food restrictions and just can't do presently, he is too thin. But try what you can, either take all the sensitivities out and if he does well, you can add one back at a time and see if he has any reaction, or you can slowly remove one group at a time for a couple weeks and see how that goes.

 

some here have tried the carnitine, however I felt tht when I did a while back, it 'seemed' to increase the vocals. it could hve been my imagination, but I always get nervous when I see that, so I didn't continue. since your son's vocals are not too much, it migh tbe easier go gauge. maybe the others will let you know of their experience.

 

oh, and could I ask, since you say he's almost 11, has he had the Tdap booster yet that they are supposed to get at this age?

 

good luck

Faith

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Hi Faith,

 

I like the combo of Faith and Hope! These are two of the greatest virtues! With these I know we will overcome all of the challenges we face with our kids!

 

My son has not gone for a well-check this year. I didn't want to go near the pediatrician's office with the swine flu scare and I haven't bothered setting up an appt yet. Overall, he seems to be in good health other than the tics, of course. I am bracing myself for the dr saying he needs boosters. I will do everything in my power to decline. I wonder if there are titers than can be done to see if he has enough immunity already built up. We did this with our youngest for her kindergarten boosters and she didn't need any of them thank goodness!

 

My son goes to a Catholic school so they attend mass as a class once a week as well as going as a family on Sundays. He is also an altar server and is scheduled to serve additional masses from time to time. So far he does well serving masses because he is busy doing what he needs to do. But when he attends with his class is when his teacher has noticed the vocal tics. They usually don't cause too much of a concern during the regular school day so far....but when he has to be quiet for a long period of time it is just too much! Our faith is very important to us so church isn't any option for him. We just have to figure out what to do when the tics become too loud for the others around him. He knows he can leave his class or our family and go to the room in the front of the church if he has to. Right now he doesn't want to use that option although I wish he would. If he just got out for a bit, he could probably come back and be calmer for a while longer...

 

We have been off from school for a week and it was nice to have him home without any stresses. The tics were so minimal. He had a friend over for most of the day on Thursday. They had a great time together and basically no noticeable tics. The friend doesn't know that he has TS. My son may have mentioned to him that sometimes he does things he can' t control but it is no big deal to the other boy. They have been friends for a long time. I sure hope that continues after the representative from our local TSA comes in to speak to the class soon. I am really hoping the kids develop an understanding of what our son is dealing with and are supportive more than negative. I think they will be. They are a good group for the most part!

 

Every day is a challenge. I know the tics bother me more than my son at this point or at least they seem to. I have committed myself to continue on this journey to find answers for my son and for others. I know there is a reason we are dealing with this....just wish it weren't so frustrating and heartbreaking at times....

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Faith and Hope Oh Yes!!!!! :wub:^_^

 

 

Hope

 

I sure do remember how it was when my son was 11 and dealing with multiple tics

 

He had very strong vocals then and we did find L carnitine very beneficial. We used it only until the vocals had settled from strong and intrusive to mild. A few years later, when he was 15, he developed more loud vocals and tried the carnitine again and this time he found it had a side effect of leaving him feeling a bit odd mentally and so he decided never to use it again. I say all that to suggest it is worth trying as it may help...but start low and go slow so that you can remove it if you need to

 

The only other thing that has always had a dramatic impact on calming my son's tics is acupuncture. his acupuncture therapist has experience with TS

 

another "quick fix" for calming waxing tics some is those epsom salts baths

 

hope that helps a bit

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Thanks Chemar (or is it Cheri?),

 

I am definitely considering trying L-carnitine if the vocals start causing a problem in school or with his daily functioning. I plan on calling his teacher at the end of the school day to see who things went today. He has a field trip to a theater to see a live production about the underground railroad. Thankfully, I am going as a chaperone. Vocal tics always make an appearance at shows or anywhere that he has to be quiet. Ugh. I will try to sit on an end off to the side if possible....with a supportive friend nearby. I am sure the teacher will be supportive, too.

 

Our naturopath is an accupuncturist. He said he doesn't like to do accupuncture on kids because of the needles. I was surprised by that. What age was your son when you started accupuncture???? Not sure if our son would be open to it or not. He tossed his cookies after giving blood the last time but there was a huge build up of anxiety preceeding that experience because the lab didn't understand about the ALCAT testing and he was refused blood draw, had to come home, call dr and then go back. Ugh.

 

I guess right now I am trying to decide how long to hold out before trying the L-carnitine. At home the vocals are minimal. Just times when he is tired, ill, excited or has lots of energy and is transitioning from one activity to another. They last a minute or less ususally. Except in church and possibly school. I will check with teacher later like I said....

 

He has a role in the school play that is in 3 weeks! Holding my breath! I think he will do his role fine but I am worried about all the wait time. I think he is actually sitting on stage waiting in the background quite a bit. Will have to talk to this teacher, too. So far she says he is doing great! This is the kid who walked off with first place for his 5th grade public speaking contest so I am sure he will surprise us! God has given him many talents! It is me who worries and worries and worries....

 

Thanks for all the support! I don't know what I would do without this wonderful website and all the caring people here!

God bless you all!~

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Hi Hope,

 

My son now 15yo has only vocals unless he wants to be quiet then he changes to something else, but back to the vocals as soon as he is free to do that.

 

I understand about church too, that seem to be a huge trigger for our son. He spent almost 2 years sitting in the baby cry area because the vocals were too loud for church. I'm glad your son is an alter server I had signed mine up just before he exploded then I pulled him because I thought it was too much pressure. Now he shows no intrest in doing it.

 

The L-carnitine made my son's vocals worse, I tried twice. Most all the aminos make him worse.

 

Good luck,

CP

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My son is almost 9. His vocal ticks just recently started. His ticks are best described by thinking about that song "Who let the dogs out?...(insert his tic here). Plus he has some body jerking with it now. We let him go to regular service with us every other Sunday. I would like to encourage you to embrace the tics as normal. I know that sounds weird, but I have found that when I treat my son like any other kid I help give him more personal confidence. It also opens up a chance to tell people about Tourettes and educate them. To many people think it is what the media puts in movies that everyone makes fun of. I usually mention it to a few people who are sitting around and then just go about my normal stuff. Kids really pick up on how we feel about things. So if you act embarrssed then he will to. He is not purposely trying to annoy anyone.

 

Just be encouraged you are not alone and remind him that EVERYONE has something that might be embarassing.

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I think alot of you people here should try 5HTP for tics as it's a highly potent precursor to serotonin. Now, serotonin promotes rest and relaxation and when serotonin levels rise, dopamine levels generally fall which balances the often dopamine heavy brains of people with TS.

 

I know, when I was on anti-depressants a few years back I hardly had tics. At all. it was basically night and day

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Hi jens

 

my son had much benefit from low dose (50mg/nightly) 5HTP for his OCD tho I must say we didnt notice it specifically reducing tics .

 

there is caution tho in using 5HTP as some people do react negatively to it. For them, tryptophan is often a better choice, tho again, some people just do not tolerate either very well

 

altho my son used the 5HTP with success some years ago, when he tried it again recently it had a negative effect on him (made him edgy, restless and anxious rather than relaxed and calm) so one can also react differently to it at different stages, probably all related to the body's own biochemistry

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