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Hello and thank you for this forum.  My 3 and 1/2 year old son began a behavior 8 days ago that has my wife and I very worried.  He has up to now been completely "normal" in every aspect of his life.  He has not undergone any significant changes or stressors in his life.

Out of the blue, 8 days ago he began to seemingly involuntarily double blink his eyes.  This blinking happens repeatedly during the day, starting slower in the mornings and being more intense in the evenings.

We took him to a pediatric opthamologist who said his eyes were fine.  Then we took him to a pediatrician who said he may have a virus that has infiltrated his eyes.  

Then we took him to another pediatrician who said that these could be "normal" childhood "ticks" that will most likely go away as quickly as they came.

We have no history of Tourette's Syndrome in either of our families.  Can there be other explanations of this blinking?

We have an appointment with a pediatric neurologist in 4 weeks (the soonest they could see us).

He is aware of the behavior (because we have spent some time trying to figure it out).  We have already decided not to acknowledge the behavior so he will feel more comfortable about it.  We just feel really helpless because we can't do anything to help him.

Any advice or information will be desperately appreciated.

Thank you again for your help.
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Dear Sean,

You are certainly doing the correct things, ruling out the most logical explanations for your son's symptom.

Given what you have already learned, it is very likely that your son is displaying what is called a transient tic disorder. These are relatively common during childhood and do not require specialized treatment or intervention, and they are not precursors to any more serious illnesses or conditions. The best approach for parents is to ignore the symptom - pay it no particular attention. With transient tic disorder, the symptom eventually wanes and disappears, in much the same fashion that it arose.

Now it is possible that your son is displaying the first of what might be multiple motor tics - only time will tell. It is encouraging that there is no family history of Tourette's Disorder or, I'm assuming, no other neurological disorder.
10 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
my son at about 6 developed the same thing .blinking all the time my gp treated it at frist as an allergy and we tried antihistimiines. we then saw a specalist who said it could be a  nervous tic.or that he could at some time got something in his eye or an allergy and that the eye blinked to try and remove it and then when the thing that was irratateing his eye had gone his eye had got the habit of blinking and he would eventually stop it.that was 18 monthes ago. it took about 6 weeks to go but it did
ruth
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Avatar_n_tn
It's comforting for me to see that these motor tics eventually go away sometimes. My son was on Adderal for about 3 months when he started "gasping" over and over, sometimes only seconds apart. I took him to the Pediatrician who removed him from Adderal. That was in January. He still has it. I am worried that it wont go away. It is very startling, it sounds like he's choking sort of.  I couldnt post a question, so I commented here, desperately hoping for some hopeful comments myself. If anyone can offer any hope please respond.
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Avatar_n_tn
Don't worry about the gasping tic.  My son had it and it went away your son's will eventually go away too.  If it's Tourettes then you will see tics come and go and get better and worse.  I too was afraid my son would inhale his food, but he didn't.  Just to put your mind at ease.
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, thanks. I am praying that it isnt Touretttes. I hope it was brought about by the stimulant. He already suffers from depression and his unpredictable behavior isolates him from his peers sometimes. He is doing better with few meds and it broke my heart to think he might keep this forever. Blinking I could handle, but not this. Thanks for your encouragement.
Sincerely, Amy
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Avatar_n_tn
My soon to be 14 year old son has learning difficulties and the child study team said his visual processing is very low.
Is there a specific place to have this tested further for a more accurate finding. I'd like to be able to educate him and his teachers on his learning differences and cannot do this without a better understanding myself.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sean,
My 3 1/2 year old has also began to blink continuously.  I have an appt. next week with his pediatrician.  This has been going on about 3 weeks.  I'm assuming it is a transient tic.  Anyways, I was wondering how your son is doing?  Have you seen a change?  I am trying to ignore my son'ds behavior but it's diifcult.  I'm hoping this behavior stops soon since I don't want other children to start to make fun of him.  Keep me updated!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi all first let me tell you all that i have ADD,Touretttes and taking meds for it: DEPAOTE 250 MG, DEXEDRINE 5MG, CLONIDINE 0.1 MG, and have had this problem with the eye blinking before and when takin off one don't remember witch one (med) my eye's start to blink again hope that helps you
                                   Sean
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi all first let me tell you all that i have ADD,Touretttes and taking meds for it: DEPAOTE 250 MG, DEXEDRINE 5MG, CLONIDINE 0.1 MG, and have had this problem with the eye blinking before and when takin off one don't remember witch one (med) my eye's start to blink again hope that helps you
                                   Sean
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Avatar_f_tn
My son started with the repetitive blinking at age two.  We went to a nuerologist who did some motor skills tests and said at this age he seemed fine and only time would tell.  Now he is five and still blinks, but it comes and goes.  A year ago he also had periods of flexing his neck involuntarily.  Now, that has stopped, but the blinking has started again along with his eyes bugging out and becoming frozen for a second.  This is very scary because I don't think the doctors know any more than we do about treating these sorts of things at such an early age.
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