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Transient Tic - Throat Clearing - 8 year old


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#26 Kreme

Posted 19 June 2019 - 09:30 AM

As I mentioned upthread my DD also developed a tic out of the blue at age 8 that lasted for a year. She is now almost 13 and it has never come back. I didn’t do anything other than mostly ignore it and support her to work through the things she was worried about.

Kids are very cluey. You might think you’re hiding it from him, but you said yourself you’re thinking about this a lot. He will know that on some level. I really think that getting control over your own worry about this is the best thing you can do for him at this stage. Best wishes.

#27 AliasMater

Posted 19 June 2019 - 10:06 AM

My now 13 year old has had tics from about 12-18 months old. It started with hard eye blinking. Age 9 he was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome.

We don't talk about it, and we don't not talk about it. It is just him, and is what it is. He will bring it up if a tic is causing him pain (sometimes he bites his tongue or chews up his mouth and we have to find his mouth guard), and he quite often hurts his neck. Some of them do annoy the hell out of me from time to time (especially a chomping one he has), but saying something will do nothing but make him feel shame and guilt for something he has no control over.

The worst thing you can do with tics, is ask the person who experiences them to stop. They can't stop, and holding them in will make them worse.

My son's tics are noticeable, as he has complex motor and verbal tics every day or every week of every month, but he has never been bullied by other children. They do ask why he is moving or making noises, but he tells them about Tourette's, and thy say 'oh, ok' and get on with their day. The only bullying he has been on the receiving end of was from a relief teacher when in primary school. She told him to stop or else he would end up at the office. He told her he couldn't and why. She said she didn't care and he was to stop immediately. That resulted in a 6 hour tic explosion or meltdown when he got home due to him holding them in all day. A tic explosion is like a seizure where he tics uncontrollably, and he is otherwise completely paralised. They are awful, he has had about 5 in his life. I don't recommend asking someone who tics to stop!

Anyway.... there is nothing you can do for them. They are what they are. Some kids may grow out of them, but it is a complete myth that tic disorders and Tourette Syndrome are childhood disorders. Like a PP said, there are often co-morbid conditions that often exist along side tic disorders. My son has anxiety, OCD and is profoundly gifted. ASD, ADHD, ODD and other neurological differences are also common.

#28 mayahlb

Posted 19 June 2019 - 10:32 AM

There is nothing you can do for a tic, so you need to try and stop focusing on them because even if you think you are not, your son is likely seeing your focus on them and this can make them worse. They are not uncommon. They can come and go and some are much more noticeable then others. Sometimes anxiety can make them worse and sometime they have absolutely nothing to do with anxiety. I get one when I'm stressed (it's a weird eyelid twitch).

My son has been getting them on and off since he was 8. We just don't focus on it. Sometimes it hangs around for 6 months, sometimes it might last a week. It can be annoying, but focusing on it doesn't make anyone happy. And it's not like he can stop them (we've had throat clearing ones too, though mostly it's a weird jaw movement like a yawn but not a yawn. That one we have to watch out for as the stretch can affect the skin in his lips and cause them to crack if its too dry). My son's are partially exacerbated by his adhd medication (stimulants can trigger tics).

If it is really stressing you out go back to a pead. They will likely tell you it's fine and come back in 6 months if it's still happening.

#29 rainne

Posted 19 June 2019 - 10:51 AM

This is such a helpful thread, thanks for starting it OP (although I'm sorry you're worried!). My 7 y/old had the throat clearing one for a few months, recently replaced by some face twitching, and I had no idea it was so common at this age.

I'm coming at this from the perspective of someone who doesn't believe in homework (or computers) in this age group anyway, so take this as you will, but maybe consider trialling a no-homework week or two and see if that makes a difference? I noticed you said it might be to do with stress, NAPLAN, he's sitting at a computer in the evenings doing homework and complaining of a sore neck - can you dial all of that back, give him a couple of weeks without, and see if it affects the behaviours?

#30 Maton

Posted 19 June 2019 - 11:36 AM

He’s only got a week or so of homework anyway and then we’ll give him a few weeks of nothing. I was planning on doing that anyway.

Thanks for all the posts. It is helpful reading. He is still little at the end of the day and generally gets on with it but during the naplan period it was probably too much for him.

#31 Maton

Posted 19 June 2019 - 11:38 AM

And yes I need to keep working at managing my focus on it even though I feel I’m concealing it with him. Kids are very cluey

#32 Lady Monteagle

Posted 19 June 2019 - 01:49 PM

I have a tic-prone DS9.  They come and they go, over time periods from weeks to months and months.  We only bother addressing the ones that are physically damaging to him when done repetitively.  We don't do anything sophisticated, just explain that it is physically damaging and keep reminding him to try not to do it.  

He is also our total perfectionist, and I'm pretty convinced that's related.  I'm a perfectionist with some tendencies to self-destructive tics.

#33 José

Posted 19 June 2019 - 04:19 PM

its interesting people are saying there is nothing you can do for tics.

i thought there was evidence to support Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention for Tics- CBIT.

#34 Maton

Posted 19 June 2019 - 06:36 PM

View Postrainne, on 19 June 2019 - 10:51 AM, said:

This is such a helpful thread, thanks for starting it OP (although I'm sorry you're worried!). My 7 y/old had the throat clearing one for a few months, recently replaced by some face twitching, and I had no idea it was so common at this age.

I'm coming at this from the perspective of someone who doesn't believe in homework (or computers) in this age group anyway, so take this as you will, but maybe consider trialling a no-homework week or two and see if that makes a difference? I noticed you said it might be to do with stress, NAPLAN, he's sitting at a computer in the evenings doing homework and complaining of a sore neck - can you dial all of that back, give him a couple of weeks without, and see if it affects the behaviours?

Yeh well just finish up this weeks work which is due and then I’m clearing at least 4 weeks including the school holidays of no homework and see if that has an effect.

He actually brought the arm and neck tic up just then. They’re of the simple variety but noticeable. Said he doesn’t why he does them and they’re annoying. He also had a haircut last week which took over 30 mins and he pretty much suppressed them the entire time. It was only throat clearing at that point.

He did mention today that he was a bit lonely today and a couple days ago walking around on his own as his friends were playing games he wasn’t interested in. He can be a bit selfish like that at times but potentially this may have contributed and who knows if it’s also happened in the last month or so a few times.

Sorry to harp on all. The posts on here have made me feel a touch better about coping with it. I’m easy going for nearly everything bar my boy. He did an ankle earlier this year playing soccer and I was depressed for a week haha even though he came good within a week. I need to get better at coping with his tics which I will. Hopefully the no homework and school holidays makes a difference. Thanks all.

#35 ~Bob~

Posted 20 June 2019 - 06:20 PM

View PostJosé, on 19 June 2019 - 04:19 PM, said:

its interesting people are saying there is nothing you can do for tics.

i thought there was evidence to support Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention for Tics- CBIT.

You are technically correct, CBIT is an excellent approach to helping tics however, this is generally reserved for people with Tourette’s, where the tics are bothering them. It actually takes quite a lot of training and time to implement CBIT. My son was involved in the trial and he was probably at the younger end of the scale for the trail. It involves recognising the very start of the tic and intervening. It’s probably not something you would do with a child with a transient or simple tic, as the effort would far outweigh the gain.

#36 MrsWonka 2.0

Posted 08 July 2019 - 08:12 PM

My 8yo DS developed a severe throat clearing tic in January this year. Over a week from nothing to constant. Driving everyone around him bonkers. He had a history of severe reflux as a baby so we tried some losec again to rule out it was being caused by stomach acid issues. We also tried nasal spray to rule out nasal drip. Nothing helped. After 6 months the tic stopped as quickly as it started. Hes a generally happy kid but has lots of nervous energy, struggles to sit still, bites his nails. Hopefully your sons will disappear also.




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