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Stimming vs complex tics


Claire
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The specifics from Laurensmom raised something I have wondered about for a while: the different between "stimming" and complex tics.

 

The regulars here all know that the tic syndromes appear to have many of the same underlying issues as ASDs (Austism Spectrum Disorder).

 

Chemar has commented on the overlap between some complex tics and compulsions associated with OCD, which I agree with.

 

Some of laurensmom's daughters symptoms (presumably her name is Lauren) were:

 

Hitting herself in the head

throwing herself on the couch

rolling eyes back in head

kicking and hopping

 

Couldn't these also be stimming? aka some highly functioning Aspergers child? Jennifer commented that her child had tics, yet was better classified as ASD vs Aspergers. Yet Lauren was 'exhausted' and I thought that stimming brought pleasure, not discomfort?

 

It is not our role to diagnose. I just think all of us would benefit from knowing where there is potential overlap.

 

I know nothing about stimming, other than spinning around.

 

Does anyone have info here? Jennifer? Andy? others? Not just on Lauren but GENERAL info on stimming?

 

Thanks,

Claire

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Hi Claire

 

all of the symptoms described by laurensmom are also recognised as being tics that can occur in TS

 

they may seem bizarre behaviours, but they CAN just be tics.

 

My son had some of these too when his tics were severe, and I know of some adults who have the same.

 

I have absolutely no idea as to what "stimming" is

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Thanks Chemar,

 

I knew that they could be tics, my question was more: do these also overlap with stimming behaviors.

 

For example, I just just echolacia listed as something that some kids with autism do. Obviously it can also be a tic. Plus check this out:

 

"An autistic person ... Classic pre- sentations of this illness often include salient stereo-typed movements such as body rocking, top spinning,

hand flapping and head-banging."

http://hcs.harvard.edu/~husn/BRAIN/vol6/p1...1-15-Autism.pdf

 

Laurensmom discusses head-banging. I have heard someone on a board discuss shaking their hands.

 

You know I am not into 'label's--just trying to understand the spectrum and the overlap, just as with OCD and TS (and adhd). Jennifer's comment on her child got me thinking, and the head-banging comment got me thinking. Just as the photosensitive epilepsy sites helped me in understanding flicker issues, though our issue isn't epilepsy.

 

Claire

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Here is a very informative article on one of my very favourite Tourette Syndrome sites

 

I honestly do not agree that Tourette Syndrome is an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and this article explains why

 

http://www.tourettesyndrome.net/aspergers_...comorbidity.htm

 

Yes, there can be overlaps in many neurological conditions, and yes, misdiagnosis frequently occurs.

But IMHO Tourette Syndrome is not a PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) as autism and aspergers are.

 

ps I still dont know what the term "stimming" means

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Ok, I found something. First head-banging and spinning, now this says making vocal sounds, repetitive blinking... placing things in the mouth--I know that sucking on a shirt is a tic also.

 

the asterisks are mine.

http://web1.greatbasin.net/~sprang/stimming.htm

 

Stereotypy or self-stimulatory behavior refers to repetitive body movements or repetitive movement of objects. This behavior is common in many individuals with developmental disabilities; however, it appears to be more common in autism. ***In fact, if a person with another developmental disability exhibits a form of self-stimulatory behavior, often the person is also labelled as having autistic characteristics.*** Stereotypy can involve any one or all senses. We have listed the five major senses and some examples of stereotypy.

 

Visual ---staring at lights, repetitive blinking, moving fingers in front of the eyes, hand-flapping

Auditory-- tapping ears, snapping fingers, making vocal sounds

Tactile-- rubbing the skin with one's hands or with another object, scratching

Vestibular--- rocking front to back, rocking side-to-side

Taste-- placing body parts or objects in one's mouth, licking objects

Smell-- smelling objects, sniffing people

 

 

Just makes me think more and more that tics are an ASD. My DAN doctor thinks so, but obviously Dr. McCandless and others don't mention it. This doesn't make tics the same as autism, anymore than OCD and ADHD (also on an ASD) are the same. And certainly the approach is different in some ways--just like in OCD you get them to try to stop the compulsive action, but you don't with tics.

 

Claire

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Interesting article, thanks. My 'stereotype' of autism has been very inaccurate I am finding.

 

Yes, I realize TS is not technically considered an ASD --yet look at the overlap in underlying issues (food sensitivities, methylation issues, mercury, yeast...). I am glad our DAN doctor ran the same tests and treats it the same. I think we learn a ton from ASD treatments and I know our family wouldn't be where it is had I not been pushed to see a DAN doctor, in spite of no autism symptoms.

 

Claire

 

ps By the way, clearly the lack of communication issues in tic syndromes is a major distinction. But many DAN doctors put adhd as ASD, and they don't have communication issues.

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Yes, I realize TS is not technically considered an ASD --yet look at the overlap in underlying issues (food sensitivities, methylation issues, mercury, yeast...).

ps By the way, clearly the lack of communication issues in tic syndromes is a major distinction. But many DAN doctors put adhd as ASD, and they don't have communication issues.

Hi Claire

 

yes, there is an overlap in those issues, but I think these things impact ALL forms of health.

 

eg I have a friend who was diagnosed with chronic fibromyalgia.....turned out she actually had chronic yeast infection and once that was cleared the fibromyalgia disappeared.

 

In my case, I had mysterious symptoms that were finally attributed to my mercury fillings.

 

And food sensitivities mask as a number of illnesses from acid reflux to irritable bowel etc......people popping pills when they should actually just be eliminating the offensive food allergen

 

etc etc

 

 

So, whereas I absolutely agree with the protocol of running all these tests and attempting to detox and immunoboost etc etc, still, the mechanisms involved and the major differences in COGNITIVE and COMMUNICATIVE functioning in ASD vs the other neurological disorders is just, IMHO, too far apart to put them on the same spectrum, rather than as disorders that can be co-morbid.

 

The complex tics such as head banging, whirling etc really do leave the individual very exhausted and debilitated. From what I have gathered, what you refer to as "stimmimg" is something done in ASD individuals to create neurostimulation because they function in a hyposensitive way.

Well, from my experience with my husband and son, and the other TS and the ADHD people I know, they are far more HYPERsensitive, and certainly dont need to stimulate their senses or their neuro impulses.

 

I realise that where TS is comorbid with autism or aspergers, then a whole different set of parameters are at work and truly do not have any knowledge or experience in that area.

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It is an interesting discussion and something I feel fairly strongly about (in case you hadnt noticed :o )

 

many neurological conditions can occur in association with one another, as co morbid conditions. That is a fully accepted fact and recognised by both the conventional and alternative medical communities

but

it is a whole different thing when they start to be classified as part of the same "spectrum" based on a set of criteria that really are not related to the crux of the disorders, and for which there is no or conflicting evidence.

That is why there is enormous controversy when some try to classify Tourette Syndrome, or ADHD, or OCD or any other neurological condition other than the classic PDD (pervasive developmental disorder) conditions as part of the "Autism Spectrum Disorder" or ASD........the fundamentals are just far too diverse to place such a narrow definition ! Yes, there are areas that overlap, as occurs in many neurological conditions.

But,

IMHO, Tourette Syndrome IS a spectrum neurological disorder NOT a subtype in the Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 

By the way, earlier in this discussion, I linked to an article on Leslie Packer's EXCELLENT website "Tourette Syndrome Plus"

I really would highly recommend this website to everyone

 

http://www.tourettesyndrome.net/

 

:)

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Claire and Chemar,

 

Great discussion!!! There are so many similarities that I feel it is worth exploring the biochemical factors w/o applying a diagnosis. I think this all started with Pfeiffer's stand that they have not had success with treating Tic Disorder's and discourage treatment from their center for this issue. I believe the labeling is unfortunate because it may discourage parents who trust their doctor's diagnosis to seek treatment from their facility when infact they could receive a great deal of benefit. I have come to beleive that the best way to restore our children's health is through trial and error (as long as everything we use and do is safe)...we can't fit their symptoms into one neat fitting little category and call it good. The issues are obviously very complex and overlap. Zeroing in on a diagnosis may cause us to miss out on therapy that could be vital to their healing.

 

 

Jennifer

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  • 2 months later...

I have been reading back posts trying to get a handle on the difference between stimming and tics. There are some behaviors my son exhibits that definitely seem like tics (sniffing, vocal sounds, repeating sentences, jerky arm movements), but at other times it seems like self stimulatory (hand flapping, jumping...etc.). He is a little touchy feely and can be a little aggressive at times (which seem to have to do with OCD at this point), but ohter than that he is very social, funny, and although a little moody that is kept in check by keeping the offending foods away. When we tried Bonnie's program, it was a disaster. We did it for a month, but I have never seen him more unhappy, moody, aggressive, and added some new tics. When we have tried the vitamins with the increased B by Kirkman (Super NU thera) which many of the spectrum kids take with a lot of sucess, it works wonders for his mood, but his tics (what I recognize as true tics), get much more jerky and pronounced.

 

I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't think we necessarily always fit just into the Tourette's category and maybe we are dealing with a little PDD as well. We may be dealing with a little of both, and that's why I am having so many problems getting these vitamins right. Right now he is on a normal mulitvitamin from Kirkman, and we give him TMG which seems to help a little (maybe), fish oil, digestive enzyme, and a daily probiotic. We just started seeing a DAN doctor which is testing for yeast and heavy metals. Does anyone have any advice vitamin wise for me or know anyone who has dealt with ASD and Tourettes. If we are dealing with ASD, it is so mild, I don't think anyone would ever diagnose us that way. Thanks for listening.

 

Also one more question. My son is only three and 1/2, and we are considering putting him in an Emerson Waldorf preschool/ I really want/need to go back to graduate school, and need childcare. Does anyone have advice on what the best schools are for our kids?? He has been in a church preschool, and assimilates pretty well. Although he is a little different, the kids liked him. His touchiness got to them sometimes, but it went pretty well. Thanks.

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And food sensitivities mask as a number of illnesses from acid reflux to irritable bowel etc......people popping pills when they should actually just be eliminating the offensive food allergen

Excellant comment

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Guest Guest_Jennifer

Dear ntbowen,

 

Your situation sounds quite a bit like mine. Our son's official diagnosis was Tourette's syndrome with OCD, I focused my research and nutrient choices on those two catagories specifically, which caused me to miss the bigger picture, initially. I think the best thing you can do is not label and have your child tested for heavy metal toxicity, yeast, allergies and vit/mineral imbalances so that you can taylor a program to best fit your child's individual needs. So many of these symptoms overlap it is impossible to acurately diagnose.

 

Although I know that many people have been helped by Bonnie's supplements, our experience was similar to yours. Bonnie uses grape seed extract in her supplements, if yeast is an issue it can cause die off which will agravate the situation, she also uses folic acid. If high histamine is an issue folic acid also will agravate the situation. If I remember correctly super-nuthera contains a very high amount of B-6. You should test your son for pyroluria before using high amounts of b-6.

 

We made the decision to take our son to the Pfeiffer clinic last fall. I am so glad we did, the results we are seeing are phenomenal. His results were pyroluria which cause dramatically low b-6 and zinc. His histamine results weren't to clear, based on symptoms they are treating him as high histamine. And he also has heavy metal and yeast issues we are trying to resolve.

 

We found that our son thrived in a Montesorri environment. We are currently homeschooling til we get through this all.

 

Jennifer

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Jennifer

 

What are the supplements your son is on currently? How are his tics/OCD these days?

As you rightly said, its not the diagnosis that is important since the approach is pretty much the same with or without any particular label.

Your son is around 7 plus right (generally the TS onset age) but ntbowen's kid is as young as 3.5 and I have heard that its pretty rare for TS tics to be obvious at that age.. Correct me if I am wrong on this..

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