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Claire

TV/computer/gameboy impact on tics

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Noelle,

 

I'm so sorry about your experience with the neurologist. I had a very similiar experience. My son had a horrible tic flair, but he was playing Pac Man. I thought it was the flashing ghosts and, as you said, the stress and excitment with the chasing on the game. He had just gotten it, and it was his birthday. I'm just afraid that the neurologists will not entertain the fact that we have eyes and live with these children. I think often times, they only see what's in the medical journals, or what meds can be used. Trust your instincts until you can find a Dr. who is on board with alternative medical approaches. There is information at the top of the page on finding medical help, if you choose this route.

 

I wanted to let you know that Claire is not here much anymore, but does pop in occasionally, so don't feel left out, if you don't get a response from her.

 

There is SO much information here, just keep reading, and ask questions when ever you feel the need.

It took me months of reading this forum, to even cover 1/2 of the info, but well worth it.

 

Kim

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Hi Noelle and Momof2xyz,

 

Kim is right that I don't read or post very often, but I did notice activity on this thread.

 

Momof2xyz.

 

It is my belief that certain underlying immune issues can cause or increase photosensitivity. Kids with tics who are photosensitive have their neurological systems constantly assaulted by this trigger. (Others get migraines, some seizures, and for many kids...tics).

 

So stopping or properly managing the TV/gameboy/movies/computer can make a huge difference in the tics. As you may see, we did this for our son. However, it is tough to do through the pre-teen and teen years and thus my focus (along with others here) on correcting the immune balances to minimize or eliminate the photosensitivity. Another view is that the immune system is like a bucket and when it overflows with all the assaults/sensitivities, the child tics.

 

Noelle,

 

You are right in that MOST neurologists don't understand this trigger. I think it is because in the 90's is when kids started being exposed to all these electronic devices and bigger TVs, so it is too new for the doctors to have awareness of. Plus it can be a slow build thing. You are lucky that you are so in tuned. I totally 'get' being the mean mom, I was there and still must be on some things.

 

To me, if you know that the electronics are a trigger (and I don't buy that it is just the excitement, because my kid would get excited about a lot of things and not tic, plus he didn't tick

 

It is my firm belief, that the underlying causes must be dealt with or the photosensitivity will only increase over time. Then small exposures to TV even started causing us problems. How interesting about Star Wars--that is to me the biggest trigger of all due to the darkness with flashing lists. Almost like a strobe light.

 

For us it was mercury, some vitamin deficiencies and some food sensitivities that we dealt with that reduced his photosensitivity. We still use an LCD monitor at home and at school, but finally he can tolerate a big screen movie. Though I never took him to Star Wars again after our own horrible experience with Episode 1.

 

This board wouldn't exist if mainstream medicine understood all of this. None of us have/had the luxury of waiting until they 'got' it--we want our kids to have normal lives.

 

I am very proud of you (odd feeling, but I am) for sticking with your beliefs. As hard as it is, at this age it is MUCH easier to manage/control than later on. But my unsolicited advice to you is to find a good alternative doctor who will run the test (or run them yourselves by finding them at www.directlabs.com and then take the results to an alternative doctor if you find positive indicators of certain issues. I saw middle school as the time when I wouldn't be able to control the exposure and worked toward improving his immune system by then, and I think I was absolutely just in time!

 

This started for us at age 8, we figured out and removed the trigger within 2 months. Then it took us 2 years of increasing sensitivity to find a good doctor. It has been 27 months since any tics at all. period. And he still doesn't play flashing games, but he does get lots of computer and TV time on an LCD (no flicker) monitor, not a CRT one--a couple of hours a day (I try to limit now just to keep him active and fit).

 

Best of luck to you, really!

 

Claire

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So nice to "see" you Claire!

 

I wanted to add our good news with a recent exposure to regular CRT screen --no significant reaction - I noticed one eye blink ( which may not have even been a tic - I was just watching like a hawk) after he watched a full movie on a regular big screen tv - we were on holiday and it was movie night - all the kids were going so we decided we would let him go and worse case scenerio he would have some tics as a result. He had no reaction. As you say Claire, I agree, the dealing with the underlying immune issues - helps manage this trigger. Not that we intend on having him watch a CRT screen on a regular basis but it was nice to see how far he has come since it was really the most obvious trigger for us at the beginning. Maybe this summer we will try the movies - one step at a time.

 

With many thanks to you we are in a really good place with our son. Wishing you and your family all the best.

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Alison,

 

So nice to see you too! I am so glad you are in a good space right now. I know how important it is for them to participate in those occasional events.

 

Warmest regards,

Claire

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Hi Noelle and Momof2xyz,

 

Kim is right that I don't read or post very often, but I did notice activity on this thread.

 

Momof2xyz.

 

It is my belief that certain underlying immune issues can cause or increase photosensitivity. Kids with tics who are photosensitive have their neurological systems constantly assaulted by this trigger. (Others get migraines, some seizures, and for many kids...tics).

 

So stopping or properly managing the TV/gameboy/movies/computer can make a huge difference in the tics. As you may see, we did this for our son. However, it is tough to do through the pre-teen and teen years and thus my focus (along with others here) on correcting the immune balances to minimize or eliminate the photosensitivity. Another view is that the immune system is like a bucket and when it overflows with all the assaults/sensitivities, the child tics.

 

Noelle,

 

You are right in that MOST neurologists don't understand this trigger. I think it is because in the 90's is when kids started being exposed to all these electronic devices and bigger TVs, so it is too new for the doctors to have awareness of. Plus it can be a slow build thing. You are lucky that you are so in tuned. I totally 'get' being the mean mom, I was there and still must be on some things.

 

To me, if you know that the electronics are a trigger (and I don't buy that it is just the excitement, because my kid would get excited about a lot of things and not tic, plus he didn't tick

 

It is my firm belief, that the underlying causes must be dealt with or the photosensitivity will only increase over time. Then small exposures to TV even started causing us problems. How interesting about Star Wars--that is to me the biggest trigger of all due to the darkness with flashing lists. Almost like a strobe light.

 

For us it was mercury, some vitamin deficiencies and some food sensitivities that we dealt with that reduced his photosensitivity. We still use an LCD monitor at home and at school, but finally he can tolerate a big screen movie. Though I never took him to Star Wars again after our own horrible experience with Episode 1.

 

This board wouldn't exist if mainstream medicine understood all of this. None of us have/had the luxury of waiting until they 'got' it--we want our kids to have normal lives.

 

I am very proud of you (odd feeling, but I am) for sticking with your beliefs. As hard as it is, at this age it is MUCH easier to manage/control than later on. But my unsolicited advice to you is to find a good alternative doctor who will run the test (or run them yourselves by finding them at www.directlabs.com and then take the results to an alternative doctor if you find positive indicators of certain issues. I saw middle school as the time when I wouldn't be able to control the exposure and worked toward improving his immune system by then, and I think I was absolutely just in time!

 

This started for us at age 8, we figured out and removed the trigger within 2 months. Then it took us 2 years of increasing sensitivity to find a good doctor. It has been 27 months since any tics at all. period. And he still doesn't play flashing games, but he does get lots of computer and TV time on an LCD (no flicker) monitor, not a CRT one--a couple of hours a day (I try to limit now just to keep him active and fit).

 

Best of luck to you, really!

 

Claire

 

Thanks so much for the info. I have found a DAN doctor in our city. I have no doubt that it is an immune system problem that is the cause of tics, OCD and attentional problems. My son has been on two weeks of antibiotics and I am not sure if it is the antibiotics or the strep, but his anger and frustration level are almost unbearable.

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Momof2xyz,

 

Antibiotics can cause yeast issues, search the threads for the at home yeast test--or ask your DAN doctor for the Great Plains OAT test for yeast.

 

But sometimes just being sick is just more than they can take, especially with immune systems that are already depressed. My son doesn't handle no sleep well at all at all.

 

Finally, zinc deficiencies can cause major anger issues--I absolutely found this with my son. He was so angry for a time, and we retested his zinc and it had dropped really low. We corrected it and he was fine. Labcorp has a serum zinc test for this. Zinc deficiencies are one of the most common things for ADD, and we seem to be finding it for kids with tics also.

 

See ya.

Claire

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Again, anyone who has tried this one, please let us know what happened, miracle cures or nothing at all.

 

I noticed that although some recent posters have commenting on noticing a correlation, I rarely see anyone doing this anymore. Not sure if it is just 'too hard' or whether they tried and failed.

 

Please help us update this if you have information.

 

Photosensitivity in particular to me is a clear sign that something else is going on that can be addressed. Screen avoidance isn't intended to be a permanent thing.

 

Claire

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Again, anyone who has tried this one, please let us know what happened, miracle cures or nothing at all.

 

I noticed that although some recent posters have commenting on noticing a correlation, I rarely see anyone doing this anymore. Not sure if it is just 'too hard' or whether they tried and failed.

 

Please help us update this if you have information.

 

Photosensitivity in particular to me is a clear sign that something else is going on that can be addressed. Screen avoidance isn't intended to be a permanent thing.

 

Claire

 

Well since you asked for feedback I have to say, I have seen no connection between tics and television, internet games, etc. Sorry.

 

On the other hand, my child has always been prone to over stimulation of any kind and as such tics to tend to wax a bit during such times. Perhaps some kids become very excited/stimulated playing games or watching certain television shows?

 

I also question this premise because TS was discovered long before televisions. :) However, all we can do is speak from our own experience.

 

Best wishes to all.

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Hi Laurensmom,

 

Thanks for the feedback, but this is not the survey question...? The survey is for people who did a 'no screens experiment' for a full week to give feedback, not for general observations. Some people who did the test, saw no correlation before. Some who have noticed a worsening with TV, haven't done the test, and I don't include their data either. I am trying to keep opinion out of it as much as possible, and just post 'no screens' test results. This survey thread, along with others on this site is to separate that what applies to one child with tics and applies more commonly applies to multiple children with tics; on this board we believe there are multiple triggers and multiple treatments that can help. On the other hand, if you have done this experiment and it failed to show results then I would be happy to post it.

 

Never have I implied that TV causes TS... I am just building data to see what kind of a trigger it can be for people with tic syndromes (TS, transient, or chronic). Just as Jeff has gotten a number of people to notice that artificial colors can be a trigger, and some have found certain foods to be a trigger.

 

In any case, your opinion is noted, it is just not part of the 'survey'.

 

Claire

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Hi Laurensmom,

 

Thanks for the feedback, but this is not the survey question...? The survey is for people who did a 'no screens experiment' for a full week to give feedback, not for general observations. Some people who did the test, saw no correlation before. Some who have noticed a worsening with TV, haven't done the test, and I don't include their data either. I am trying to keep opinion out of it as much as possible, and just post 'no screens' test results. This survey thread, along with others on this site is to separate that what applies to one child with tics and applies more commonly applies to multiple children with tics; on this board we believe there are multiple triggers and multiple treatments that can help. On the other hand, if you have done this experiment and it failed to show results then I would be happy to post it.

 

Never have I implied that TV causes TS... I am just building data to see what kind of a trigger it can be for people with tic syndromes (TS, transient, or chronic). Just as Jeff has gotten a number of people to notice that artificial colors can be a trigger, and some have found certain foods to be a trigger.

 

In any case, your opinion is noted, it is just not part of the 'survey'.

 

Claire

 

We have done no screens on various occasions (mainly on vacation) for a week at a time, and there haven't been any changes? Not sure if that is what you're looking for or not?

 

Also, I should note that I am participating here to learn about natural/nutritional approaches to TS. I am not wishing to pursue the notion of triggers, but I respect those who do.

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Hi -

 

Just for the record, as I think this it is a very interesting and important observation, that TV/computergames and the like triggers the tics : My son react in the very same way.my

 

No TV/computergame for a period, the tics dimishes or go away. Only half and hour of TV/computergame triggers the tics or make them worse, if they are allready there.

 

I have conducted several experiments with this, and the pattern is clear.

 

As a matter of fact the pattern is SO clear, that my 6 year old son has noticed it himself, without me ever mentioning my suspicion to him. Only a week ago he watched Tv for the first time in 30 days - just for an hour. This after a 20 days ticfree period . After watching he went to me and said, "Mom, it is as if my tics restarted, when I watched the movie. I don´t think it is good for me to watch this. Isn´t it strange ?"

 

These kids can be very bright :-)

 

Love -

PANDAS_Denmark

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