Our daughter had tics from the age of two until she was nine. By this time the tics were much more distinct and recognizable, but she managed them better. Still, they were constant, daily. They changed along the way; some tics would last a few months and morph into other tics, but they were always there.
Tics were more pronounced in the winter than the summer and were always more severe later in the day. The tics were also more severe when she had a cold or was run down.
The breakthrough morning
One spring morning when Megan was nine, my husband got up early and painted the basement floor with an oil-based paint. The windows in the house were closed. Both Megan and I woke up with severe headaches. Megan, however, was ticcing so violently that I truly thought she was going to snap her own neck.
I immediately googled Tourettes and scented products. Wow, others have found a connection! I removed all scented products from the house, and rewashed all linens and clothing with unscented detergent.In two weeks, the tics were gone. Haven’t seen a tic from her since.
Finding unscented products was easy, and this entire experience made a big impact on me. Why do we use scented shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, lotion, perfume, laundry soap, dryer sheets, and deodorant—sometimes all in one day? Add that to all the other scented household products, like candles, dish soap, cleaning solutions, “air fresheners” . . . we were poisoning her, and ourselves!
Seven years later
Megan is now 16 and has had no tics since she was nine. We are in a great space now after learning that our daughter’s tics were a neurological allergy to chemicals in scented products and a reaction to the oil-based paint, which we will never use again.
We don’t want to suggest we think this is the answer for everyone, but we hope it encourages people to look for their own answers. Tics and Tourette’s are a stressful mystery for anyone who must deal with them. Our tic mystery has been solved.