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TV/computer/gameboy impact on tics


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This thread summarize what posters have recorded as to the impact on tics (and sometimes behavior) they saw from trying 'no screens 'for a week (TV/computer/gameboy/big screen movies) on their children's tics. I have listed the individual results. I am adding info as people post. "No screens" term compliments of Heather.



20 OF 27 (74%) OF PARENTS THAT ELIMINATED SCREEN VIEWING FOR THEIR CHILD FOR AT LEAST A WEEK SAW A SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION IN TICS. For newcomers, this is not as drastic as it sounds, as it is just a one week test. For one week, you eliminate all screens (TV/computer/gameboys/big screen movies). Note if your child improves. If they do, continue the 'test' until no further improvement is seen for 2 days. That is their 'no screen' baseline. The best part about removing this trigger is that it can buy you time and your child piece while you try to wade through correcting underlying health issues. Most kids with screen sensitivity also had food sensitivities. Many if not most had yeast issues. Several found that correcting these issues eliminated the screen sensitivity--it is actually a very visible measurement of healing for some of us.


How to handle the trial? know a couple whose TV or computer 'didn't seem to work' during that time period. Heather's whole school had a no screens week. Others loaded the kids up with book tapes, comic books, playdates and family board games.


NOTE TO NEWCOMERS: FYI, This trigger is CUMULATIVE and LINGERS FOR DAYS, so many won't notice a direct correlation unless they do no screens for the full week. I had no idea this was a trigger for our son since it developed over time. Also, not noticing tics during viewing does not mean it is not a trigger. I was trying a number of things in serial and somehow this made it to my list. Before doing this test, some of children didn't tic during or immediately after view screens any more than the rest of the time, yet no screens still made a major difference.


Finally, some may realize it is a trigger, but they don't realize that the impact can cumulate and linger for a week--which means this can be a major contributing factor in the ongoing tics. Reduction alone won't let you see the true impact. (Based on feedback from posters). If you determine this is a factor for your child based on a no screens week, then later reintroducing an LCD monitor has solved this problem.


The underlying cause is mostly a reaction to the 50-60 Hz invisible 'light flicker' of the CRT screens. This is the same as flourescent lighting, also a trigger. To some degree it is the graphical movement. We have lots of info on understanding the why's on this and other threads.


The cool thing is that many posters who did this started threads to directly report their experience. These have been very public 'tests'. If you search on their name + screens, you should be able to find their threads and the blow-by-blows.





Info: parent's name, no screens impact on tics, current limitations or status. how you handled the situation, some behavior comments. (Note: some did other things that week, so it may be a combination of factors, but they are included and the combination noted).


**Saw tic improvement with NO SCREENS**


1. Ronnas Major difference initially. Later he was doing better with

yeast, etc, and she reintroduced it with no issue. When he started eating more 'forbidden foods', he started reacting to TV again. Cuts it out during those times.


2. Heather. Major difference initially. Later he was doing better with the various treatment programs (including Threelac for yeast, NDF for mercury and supplements... He watches now without issues.


3. Andy. Significant difference. He allows it on a limited basis--30 min a day.


4. Jennifer M. Major difference. Eliminated painful neck tics Reintroduction brought it back, so still no TV Some LCD may be okay-she is still experimenting. [unknown re vocal] Other: Unknown, just getting started. No pyroluria.


5. efgh. Major difference--even vocal ones. Vocal ones come back with reintroduction [vocal tics]. After many months of treatment and no TV, recently reintroduced it on a limited basis with no issues.


6. Jean: Major difference. Still no TV.


7. jcandkc. Major difference. Still no TV--recent testing showed it was still a trigger. However, can watch static games. Not doing other treatments.


8. Tessa [braintalk]: Noticeable difference. Vocal tics later came back during gameboy. No continuing restriction.


9. Laurie in NY. [braintalk] Dramatic difference. "Tic-free when off the computer". Came back and lasted for 3 days when reintroduced. Last I heard, she was going to experiment with an LCD monitor.




11. Lulu. 'Tics were gone'. TV removed from bedroom, Gameboy play stopped. Only occasional TV with family.


12. Ronna's friend. Tics went away. Tics started in spring coinciding with playing of new PS2 on old TV. Per Ronnas suggestion as to possible trigger, they moved PS2 to new TV and set time limits. Given shortness of duration of tics--could also be transient tics or spring allergies.


13. Evangelia. Significant difference. She combined no screens simultaneously with food and artificial additive elimination, so difficult to assess which program (or both) caused the substantial improvement.


14. Lynee. (Braintalk). Son took a video break over summer, with great improvement. When he started again, vocal tics came back. (Also did artif. ingredient elimination at same time).


15. Alison. Son's tics improved significantly. Successfully used a daily reward to motivate her child. Now doing vitamins also. Now watching for possible photosensitivity to fluorescent lighting. Definitely worse with animated cartoon shows like Yugio. Just got an LCD monitor, and is experimenting. First calm show seems to be okay. [background: PANDAS, with strong improvement with antibiotics]


16. Mmazz. Son's tics improved noticeably. (still has some tics). Tried an LCD monitor--still some ticcing but less severe that with CRT monitor. Raised issue of anxiety from feeling left out at school from no movie as worsening tics during the trial. Important to note then: How this is implemented is important to parent/child relationship and feelings about him or herself.


17. Helen. Significant improvement seen after two weeks of no TV--diet change introduced at same time for combined positive impact: no artificial color/flavor, no diary and almost no wheat, more organic fruits and vegitables. Method: Unplugged the TV and announced "TV is broken!" (the rest of us only watched TV after they were asleep.) Make sure everyone in your family works together to reinforce this. I had hard time in the beginning since I'm not home during the day and my in-laws always turn the TV on to keep the kids quiet. What I did was I called everyday to check on them so that eventually my in-laws got the message that it's important to shut it off. If you're firm with no/less TV, your child will get the message! My kids don't really bug me to turn the TV on for them anymore! Reintroduction TV test showed immediate ticcing.


18. Susan0101 Significant improvement. No TV/Gameboy for 10 days. (Had 2x at school, for 40 min. each). It took at least 3 days to notice a difference, but after 7 days there was a SIGNIFICANT difference. No vocal tics, just an eye tic. It didn't disappear, but is reduced dramatically compared to what it was two weeks ago. Process: Explained to 9 year old son why we wanted to do this. He has been a real trooper! He even commented ..that his eyes had "gotten better". That ...kept him motivated. No reward system, but spent more time keeping him occupied with board games, cartoon tracing books, etc. Other: Stress still a factor in increasing the tic. Now (post no screens week) son had appt with accupuncturist. yesterday, going with organic, no preservative foods.


19. Marina. "Oldest child" to try this--12 years old. Major improvement 80-90+ % (some days no tics at all). Saw no improvement for several days, saw some improvement by one week--continued for 11 days to reach 'baseline.' Did diet changes simultaneously: Cleaned up his diet, Therefore no artificial flavours, preservatives etc.. Milk limited to about 1 large glass per day, and limited high natural chemical foods as per failsafe guidelines. eg: Although he ate tomato slices no concentrated tomato pasta sauce. Although these restrictions prior to no screen did not eliminate tics, I have noticed that sometimes food aggravates tics. Noticed improvement in secondary (sports) trigger with screen removal. Osteopath visit also dramatically reduces symptoms. Helpful comments on execution: Said this was a big health issue that we should try our hardest to resolve together, otherwise the problem could escalate and that alternative treatment suggested by doctors could possibly involve drug therapy.


20. Layne. Significant improvement with no screens for a week. Reintroduced TV with LCD monitor and neck jerks haven't returned. Discussed plan openly with child. Originally noticed greater reaction during cartoons. Also doing Feingold, Bonnie's vitamins, removed fluorescent lights. Started seeing a DAN doctor.


Saw improvement with restrictions- but didn't eliminate entirely


1. Ausclare. Significant difference. Limits screen viewing. Must 'detox' after heavy TV view at others.


2. Diane. Major difference. Youngest son's eye-blinking tics exploded when he started playing GameBoy consistently for the first time six years ago. cut this down--definitely helped greatly, but this tic was so entrenched it lasted almost two years, although it was minimal if he played minimally. Lost interest completely in Game Boy --his eye tic disappeared for 3 years now! Excitable computer/Playstation game--the tic is almost there again, so push him to cut back. Restrict violent shows-- contributes greatly to them having a happy and relaxed frame of mind and not being bad-tempered.


**Saw NO improvement with no screens**

1. Carmon: Didn't notice any changes in tics after 1 week.

2. NTBown. They had a 3 year old, tried no screens, and saw no tic improvement. Saw behavioral improvement though, so only watches TV once a week.

3. Dara. Didn't notice any changes in tics after 2 weeks. TV removal was easy though, TV just 'broke' so the child never complained.

4. Karen. Did 11 days with no noticeable difference. 11 year old girl.

5. Robin

6. Cum Passas. Did do the two week no T.V/video test, (no change in him) during that time.

7. Patty. He used to tic during TV watching. 10 day removal, no improvement. Limits TV now and uses LCD screen from across the room. His tics are (virtually?) gone during TV, but other methods were used.



CLOSING: Doing this test doesn't mean no TV/computer for the rest of their childhood! It is meant to gather information only on how much this affects your own child. It As a parent, you need to determine what trade-offs you want for your child. I will go as far as saying that I recommend that anyone considering drugs for their child's tics try this first.


There are no side effects to this, IF the emotional aspects are managed well. For a younger child, they are so adaptable and extra family time is wonderful: board games, book tapes, music, building...life is great and they won't even notice very much. Rewards might be appropriate. For teens, well, that is another matter--that is for you and them to work out. But camping trips or ski trips are a great time to try it. Rewards help. Others don't even mention tics and their TV 'breaks'. Only you know best how to manage this with your child. One woman (not included) commented that she thought the improvement in her child was due to being on vacation. But then he used the last few days of vacation on the computer and the tics came back.


Finally, if this does help, I consider it a 'reprieve' while you use the gift of time to heal your child through other efforts to heal their immune system, in many cases to replace the nutrients that somehow never make it through the digestive system. You can test what they can tolerate and look into LCD monitors. I believe that healing greatly improves the tolerance over time. But for some whose children are really uncomfortable--they can't wait so long for the reprieve. I personally think the no screens test is most manageable for elementary children and most challenging for middle school on up, given the prevalence of computers and TV in our lives.


As with all the summary threads, this is not a double blind formal study and of course is imperfect. As with the food triggers, to some degree the group self-selects themselves to those that suspect this in some way. Someday I hope all this anecdotal information will get someone to actually do a study. This is in part triggered by my Pfeiffer visit today--they said they don't treat tics because the treatment doesn't work. Bologna! I told them that then they just aren't applying the right treatments. They agreed they weren't food sensitivity experts, and clearly the screens issue had only occured to them in the context of seizures, not tics. So we are still on our own pulling this together. The only study I ever saw on this was that 8% of the normal (non-epileptic) population had an ABNORMAL reaction to flicker, as measured by a stroboscope.


As with the other 'survey' threads here, I don't know how this applies to adults--we just don't have the feedback. Though I do know a number of adults who get migraines/nausea from computer and have switched to LCD monitors. I believe that the underlying trigger is light sensitivity to the flicker--very similar to photosensitive epilepsy. LCD monitors don't flicker, so the hope is that static games (the Sims, RollerCoaster Tycoon) and static business programs (excel, word, powerpoint) on an LCD monitor may not be an issue for many. We are building information on this, but a number of posters are finding this out. Fortunately the price of these is coming way down. 15" is the best, since it is the smallest viewing area.


I personally think this ranks as one of those potentially life changing things you can do for a young child with a tic syndrome--even those that you may think have TS. In some ways, it is actually the easiest starting point to test for a week (no restocking the kitchen). I think this one is harder on the adult than it is on the young child--no 'electronic babysitter'. If successful, it is a starting point to show you that for most of our kids, we can make a difference. It is just a symptom of other things--I would bet the healing of the gut (for yeast and potentially related mercury detox) underlies this, just like the food sensitiviities that seem so prevalent.


If anyone else truly tries this for a week, please post what happens--even if no improvement is seen! The goal is too get an idea of how widespread this trigger is among kids with tic syndromes. We have other threads, e.g. artificial ingredients--For example, Jeff's kids are totally fine with just elimination of artificial colors--this just isn't a trigger for them. Also food sensitivities. Supplements are harder to measure, because they take longer, but with the right professional guidance, they are general critical to long term healing. Yeast/metals are big issues too, that general require some supplements for healing.


Good luck.



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Count me in too! Just this morning I put two and two together. Due to poor grades, my son's TV was removed from his room about a month ago. Coincidentally he also stopped played GameCube due to lack of time. We do watch TV occasionally at night as a family though. Just yesterday I said, "Honey! I think your tics are gone - I haven't seen them is so long!" (Big mistake by the way, he started ticcing in the car on the way to school - never, ever bring that up!!). Glad I was able to try your experiment even though I didn't know we were doing it at the time. Very enlightening!



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There´s another important variable here: monitor refresh rate. While TV refresh rate is constant (50 or 60 Hz), some CRT computer monitors can be set from 60 to 120 Hz.


Personally, I´m discomfortable when it is set to anything below 70Hz and always use 85Hz (max. available with monitor/video card/resolution used). This reduce flickering a lot.


You can check what is being used trough CONTROL PANEL / VIDEO / CONFIG tab / ADVANCED / MONITOR tab.


NOTE: be careful when changing these settings and make sure you are using a refresh rate supported by your monitor since higher refresh rates can really damage CRT monitors if not supported.


Hope this help.



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Okay, I FINALLY found another source that correlates to the 8% of the non-epileptic population having an abnormal reaction to light flicker.


Apparently the infamous Pokemon episode in Japan that triggered a number of seizures and simultaneous emergency room trips ended up bringing about more investigation with regards to children seeing the episode with the flashing and the group reaction. Remember only 1 in 4000 (this says 5000) have photosentive EPILEPSY. Photosensitivity is simply an ABNORMAL brain reaction to light flicker. Both comments relate to this same Pokemon episode. One part of the article says maybe all the symptoms were from mass hysteria (?) but regardless, there is a clear statement



"Another analysis investigated the children in 80 elementary schools in an area with a population of 470,807. Out of the 32,083 students, only one child had a convulsion, but 1,002 reported minor symptoms. As half of all boys and girls saw the programme, they suggested that 6.25 per cent of the children were affected. *****This is similar to the percentage of children in the general population who show photosensitivity (8.9 per cent). ******"


"Furthermore, the incidence of photosensitive epilepsy is estimated at 1 in 5,000. Such an incidence (0.02 per cent of the population) comes nowhere near explaining the sheer number of children affected; in some areas, nearly seven per cent of the viewers. This is not to say that some children did not endure seizures, but clearly the vast majority of children did not.



Here is the actual quote from the original article that the neurologist sent me:



[iPS = Intermittent Photic Stimulation, tested via a stroboscope]


"Eeg-Olofsson and Petersén [21] used stricter criteria for the normal population, excluding those with headache, paroxysmal abdominal pain, or a family history of epilepsy, and found *****that 8% of 673 normal children aged 1-15 years had "abnormal patterns" with IPS.***** Only 2/181 (1%) subjects between 16-21 years old had these, both of them women. Criteria for an abnormal response to IPS were, however, loose, including diffuse paroxysmal slow activity and spikes without generalisation.


"Only about 3% of the photosensitive population is sensitive to IPS at 1-3 flashes/s. It is important to note that about 48% are sensitive at 50 flashes/s and that about 15% are sensitive at 60 flashes/s, which are also the frequencies of AC current in Europe and North America respectively [23]. "


"Sensitivity to IPS is customarily divided into 3 groups: patients with flicker-induced seizures only, patients with flicker sensitivity and some other epileptic disorder, and asymptomatic subjects with photosensitivity as an isolated finding. Most subjects in this last group are primary school age and adolescent girls, and many such subjects have migraine. "


[Claire's Note: of course tic syndromes are mostly boys]


"... 2 main types of EEG response could be elicited; the "photomyoclonic" response... not linked to epilepsy, and the "photoconvulsive" ("réponse fronto-centrale hypersynchrone") response associated with epilepsy. The photomyoclonic response is now called photomyogenic and the photoconvulsive response is now called the photoparoxysmal response.


Okay, this is on epilepsy, but remember it is still photosensitivity--with a neurological reaction. This shows that is is NOT just the LCD vs CRT screen, but the types of computer games.....


"Pattern-sensitive epilepsy

Pattern sensitive epilepsy consists of seizures triggered by viewing patterns, typically stripes. Almost all such patients are sensitive to IPS, and about one-third of photosensitive patients may have epileptiform EEG abnormalities on viewing stationary striped patterns. Pattern sensitivity is enhanced if the pattern vibrates. Clinical pattern sensitivity is much less common, about 2% in Jeavons and Harding's work [23] and was found in 6% of subjects by Kasteleijn-Nolst Trenité [14]. Pattern sensitive epilepsy is characterised by generalised convulsions, absences, or brief myoclonic attacks provoked by viewing patterns such as escalator steps, and striped wallpaper or clothing. It is of particular interest because the generalized clinical events and EEG abnormalities are activated by an occipital cortical stimulation [4].


"Seizures induced by television screens and video games have been reported for decades [28, 29]. Television-induced seizures were initially thought to be related to malfunctioning of the set, but advances in understanding of epileptic sensitivity to light and especially of pattern sensitivity have led to better understanding of the epileptogenic properties of TV screens. In the 1990s, electronic screen games became widespread and news reports of triggered seizures brought this issue to the public eye. After specific TV commercials were found to trigger seizures, the role of screen content in triggering seizures became generally recognised. More recent outbreaks of seizures triggered by animated cartoon broadcasts have become notorious [19, 30].



A television screen produces flicker at the mains frequency, effectively generating IPS at 60 Hz in North America and 50 Hz in Europe. Photosensitivity is more common at the lower frequency, with nearly 50% of patients sensitive to 50 Hz IPS [23], and TV sensitivity has indeed been a greater problem in Europe than in North America. Television-induced seizures, however, are not only related to AC frequency flicker. Wilkins et al. [32, 33] described patients sensitive to IPS at 50 Hz, who apparently were sensitive to whole-screen flicker even at distances greater than 1 meter from the screen. Others were not sensitive to the AC frequency flicker, but responded to the vibrating pattern of interleaved lines at half the AC frequency that can be discerned only close to the screen. Wilkins et al. emphasised that increased distance from the screen decreased the ability to resolve the line pattern and that a small screen evoked less epileptiform activity than a large one. Binocular viewing was also needed to trigger attacks. Domestic video games using the home TV screen viewed at close distances for long periods of time, and at times under conditions of sleep deprivation and possible alcohol or nonmedical drug use can thus, not surprisingly, trigger seizures in predisposed individuals not known to have epilepsy, as well as in known photosensitive patients.


Not all seizures triggered by TV and similar screens fit this pattern. Seizures can be triggered even at greater distances and by noninterlaced screens without flicker, and flashing or patterned screen content has been implicated in these. Nevertheless, the 50/25 Hz frequency appears to be a powerful determinant of screen sensitivity and in countries with 50 Hz AC, special 100 Hz TV sets have been shown to greatly reduce the risk of attacks [34].


Seizures triggered by electronic screen games are closely linked to pattern sensitivity [35, 36]. In Europe, patients with video-game triggered seizures are also more likely to be sensitive to IPS at 50 Hz than are photosensitive patients without video-game seizures [37]. However, electronic screen games add additional factors not generally applicable to passive TV viewing, which may lead to seizures in predisposed subjects [36]. Although video-game sensitivity is usually not distinct from epileptic photosensitivity, some subjects are not photosensitive and may have seizures by chance, or induced by thinking or other factors involved in playing the game [35, 38]. Patient-dependent factors include not only the type and degree of visual or other sensitivity, but also elements such as prolonged play, at times with sleep deprivation, and possible nonmedical drug use. Screen-dependent factors are similar to those for TV, but the patient is usually closer to the TV set when playing a screen game. Image-dependent factors are important: certain types of screen background, movement, flashes, lines or stripes, spirals, etc., are predictably more epileptogenic than others. The steady maximal brightness (brightness of the brightest scene lasting > 10 s) should not be > 100 lux. Software or game-dependent factors include the speed of the game, the type of visual-motor interaction demanded by the game (typically by using a joystick, mouse, or keyboard), the types of eye movement required, and the cognitive processes involved in play. Puzzle games, for example, may not present provocative flashes or movements, but may have strongly patterned screen content and require manipulation of spatial information [36]. "



Why oh why don't neurologists put this together? Obviously one did, since he emailed me the article after I discussed the connection.


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Hi everyone! B):D:)

We are now almost at the end of Day 6 of our one week no TV trial and I have gained so many amazing insights but in unexpected ways.

I am so excited but didn't want to post until I was sure.


Matt is at the moment 95% tic free after having daily constant neck jerk, neck roll and shoulder shrug tics for the last few weeks.

I was feeling very low seeing that our failsafe elimination diet had made no difference.


Day 1 was last Wednesday and no change.

Day 2 was also no change until our Osteopath appoinment at 5pm, which I had initially made not expecting any significant results.

He found Matt's neck muscles to be very tight and inflamed, and explained that these were resulting in significant nerve irritation causing the various movements.

The latest neck roll movement which he could not stop, was his bodys way of trying to gain some relief, but was unfortunately causing more damage.


He believes food intolerance to be strongly implicated (salicylates, MSG and wheat being major suspects) and said that once aggravated, symptoms can take up to 6 weeks to settle.


After the treatment he recommended hot showers and ice packs in key spots, and some simple stretching exercises. Another appointment was scheduled for early Saturday morning, but he expected him to show a 50% improvement after some inital worsening.


Matt had NO tics that night or the next day until we went 10 pin bowling on Friday night. (activity planned to keep him busy while no screens)

We could see him start to blink under the very bright fluorescent lights, and he started to make neck and shoulder movements when he was compelled to look at the Computer Score Boards!

These immediately stopped when the game was finished and we moved to the darker billiard table area.


Saturday morning Matt had further treatment, which Jeremy thought should be enough for now.

In thanking him I explained Matt's Tic, Tourette diagnosis and his history of eye blinking, and nose grimance.

He took out his anatomy book and pointed to how these were easily explained by irritation in the neck which affected nerve endings in the eye. He acurately described how Matt would have described it as a heavy eye lid, or nose irritation similar to sinus blockage!

He also said that mouth grimance could also be experience.


By this stage I am thinking WOW!


Matt started to make a very slight tic that afternoon during a close competition for a finals basketball match so stress is also a trigger. (it was barely noticable and went away after the game)

He was tic free on Sunday, but came home from school today with a slight shoulder raise . It's not there now after his Art/sculpture after school activity.(just the relaxing sort of activity he needs)


I believe that his movements are now automatic responses to any triggers.


He reacts to many triggers (Smells, screen, stress ) and yes he was also one of those children that needed to wear his socks inside out, and have tags removed from T-shirts etc.


We are still on the elimination diet, and I want to challenge shortly. I know that something will affect him, because the shocking cough he used to get on a regular basis has completely gone since being failsafe. It could of easily been considered a vocal tic, because he made an unusual loud barking seal type cough, that was so distracting in the classroom that I would be asked to pick him up from school on a regular basis.


I used to think it was asthma but his peak flow reading was always ok, and I only personally ruled it out being a tic, as I could relieve it by keeping him in a warm room and giving him warm drinks.

Sue Dengate in her book about Asthma, detailed how food intolerance although not necessarily a direct trigger, worked by irriating airway passages making them more susceptible to any subsequent triggers like colds, dust etc.



How incredible that I feel I now have many of the puzzle pieces needed to help him. Only a few weeks ago I was completely in despair, often logging on after waking in the early hours of the morning to try and learn more.


Claire THANK YOU SO MUCH for encouraging the Screen free trial. Had we not been off screens, he most likely would have continued to tic and I would have totally dismissed the success of the osteopath treatment.

Chemar I also wanted to thank you especially Your wonderful words of encouragement to everyone would always make me feel so determined.


How scared I feel when I think of how close he was to being on medication.


Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to describe it as detailed as possible.

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I am absolutely delighted to read your post!!

What a special Thanksgiving this will be for you B)


Regular visits to our NUCCA Chiropractor is something we have as an essential part of my son's treatment, even tho he tics so mildly now. It is amazing how easily the neck/spine etc go "out" with life in general, nevermind tics, and how even subtle malallignment can cause so much nerve/muscle/joint irritation.

The ice packs are excellent, as are those soaks in a warm tub with 2 cups of Epsom Salts.


Again, thank you so much for your post Marina......I know that Claire will be VERY happy for you too, and you have given others here reason to check into all this too.



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Hi Marina,


Chemar is right, I too am VERY happy for you! I have been restraining myself from posting to ask you.


I am so glad that the no screens worked out for you, and of course the osteopath visits can help heal the system once a primary trigger is removed so that the body can actually heal.



FYI, as I have posted before, while the body is still getting the effects of the screens out of the system, stress/food is more likely to have an impact for many. Once a child's primary trigger is gone (be it screens, or a certain food), some of the secondary triggers aren't as impactful. *So I would expect that if your son continued with no screens that you would notice much less ticcing from other stress over time (CRT computer/TV is a also stress to them). To me it is like allergies and the bucket theory--your system can take so much of a trigger before reacting. If you empty the bucket, it can tolerate more.


So, what does your son think of the screens situation moving forward? Are you going to get an LCD TV/monitor to see if that works? Are you going to reintroduce screens and how much he can tolerate with the simultaneous osteopath visits? Remember, the tic reaction can be immediate, or take several days to accumulate again, so please watch this closely. My biggest fear is that your son goes back to screen watching and in a few weeks he is ticcing again and he loses this correlation because of the gradually return. However, I do believe in challenging again until he completely believes the correlation. The only drawback is that breaking the habit was the toughest part.


My gut says that he will need a lot more healing (e.g. mercury, yeast, gastrointestinal healing, nutrients) before he can simply tolerate daily CRT screens and flashy games without a tic reaction--based on all the people here who have now dealt with this.


Let us know how it goes once the week is officially over also, so I can officially put you on the no screens impact list. I always note if other treatments are going on at the same time.


Finally, how old is your son? I get confused with Caz and your sons. I think one was 12 and one was 14, but forget which was which.


I ask because the oldest child to start no screens and see impact was 9. So I am curious as to whether this can help teens/pre-teens.


You must be sooooo happy. Is your son happy too? Or does he just miss the screens?



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Hi Marina,


That is great news re the screens. I am sure it will be uphill from now on since you have figured this out.


Keep us posted how your week is going. I have also been wondering how your son has been.


I believe you are from Australia. Is that correct? If so, I guess it won't be Thanksgiving for you this week....not for us either. It is only the US that has their holiday this week.



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Hi Chemar, Claire and Heather


Thankyou for your encouragement and support. What a wonderful small world!


Claire, Matt is 12 and a half.

The 7 day trial officially ends in about 1 hour (10.30pm local time), as Matt keeps reminding me!

I would so like to continue on NO SCREENs but for now a deal is a deal and he is allowed to watch tv after school tomorrow.


I have personally loved the no screen week. We had dinner by candlelight each night to avoid our bright light over our dining table, went for walks, 10 pin bowling (an eye opener), read books, listened to music, played chess, monopoly (I know now that the boys are quite capable of being ruthless property typcoons!), and at the moment they are playing Cluedo with their dad. I've also SEEN them play ball games outside.


Matt on the other hand, although enjoying these activities, has missed screens dreadfully. A case of you soo want what you can't have.

To give you a picture, he would talk about games on our walks; his selection at the bookshop was "The Simpson, TV episodes" because this was as close to tv that he could get, and he thought his twin brother was a great support because he would print interesting stuff from the internet for him to read (screens by proxy!)


Although he acknowledged his reaction to screens at the bowling alley, he will not even entertain that this may be a major issue, focusing more on his neck treatment at the osteopath, as being the only factor in his improvement.


I haven't pushed it at all at this stage, preferring to encourage his co-operation so far though all the diet and screen restrictions.


As we are still on a tight version of failsafe, I would prefer to start challenging foods first, as I don't agree about being so restrictive for an extended period, but to him screens is the first priority.

He is actually getting fed up with the whole thing and can't wait for it to end.


The day after tomorrow he goes to hospital for his operation, so everything will be a little on hold, and I'm just focusing on that for now.


As far as what's next, I'll use next week as a screens challenge and further look into LCD screens (I'll use our laptop to trial the LCD first) & supplements.

So far he is on a multi-vitamin and magnesium/cal, but I need to check the dosages against Chemars recommendations.

I do worry that he just will not accept a complete ban on screens.


Further visits to the osteopath are also on the cards.

Chemar, how often did you take your son to the Chiropractor, and did the these decrease with vitamin treatment etc?


I find it interesting that Bonnies site recommends avoiding amines. Within families using failsafe, amines are affectionely known as the meanies while salicylates are the sillies. These are the effects I also noted with my eldest son when he was younger. I wonder if in children that tic, they have a muscle tension impact.

without necessarily a behaviour effect.



Claire I agree with the bucket theory, and agree there is more to do. Today his tics appeared at times, but only mildly. He is aware of them so that is a bonus in identifying triggers down the track. The hot shower & ice pack worked, but they are a tempory measure, and healing will take a while longer.


The next few days will be busy so I won't be in touch.


Heather, yes we are from Australia, so like you no holiday. However I really feel in the spirit of giving thanks.


A wonderful & happy Thanksgiving to all B)


Cheers Marina

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Guest Guest_efgh

Hi Marina


Congrats on your success. I am sure you will see more and more improvement. What are the supplements that your son is on? did you go to any natural doctor?

by the way, you mentioned "operation"? What is it for??



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