Child Behavior Community
Head shaking
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to child behavior, discipline (behavior management), parent-child communications, and social development.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Head shaking

My 7 year old son is shaking his head every couple on second. We thought it is because he needed a hear cut. we took him to get the hair cut and it subsided a little for a couple weeks, but never went away. Now it is getting worse. People are noticeing his shaking. I really am concerned his friends are going to tease him. Is this something to be concered about? Could this be an indication of something medically wrong?
Related Discussions
38 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
313143_tn?1239386479
Have you tried asking him about it?  He is most likely aware of it, and asking about it could eliminate some of the less serious causes.  It could simply be a habit he developed from copying a friend in school.

On the other hand, the first thing that comes to mine upon reading your description is Tourette Syndrome.  Some less likely possibilities may include Sensory Integration Dysfunction, or Epilepsy (Simple Partial Seizures).

I would ask him about it first though, perhaps it's just a bad habit.  If you are still concerned, then perhaps it would be best to visit your pediatrician.

`Kestra
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Kestra,
Thanks for writing. I have asked him about it, He says he can't help it.  I ask him to stop, and he says "what am I doing". I tell him he is shaking his head. I think I am going to make an apt w/ his Dr. just to rule anything out. I think I am bothered by it more then he is.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hi , I am now 36 and this habit of shaking my head has come and gone three times in my life. The first was when I was about 7, then it came back at 20, then at 26. I feel like I have had it ever since though it seems more pronounced when I'm tired. If I am lying down with my head resting I can control it. I haven't seen a doctor about it but it might be time although it hasn't evolved into anything worse over the years!
This is the first time I have talked about it and I hope it gives you another angle on the subject.
Blank
433383_tn?1204128429
You need to speak to his pediatrician about it, it isn't normal and could be a sign of a medical problem.   How long has he been doing it?  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
hi, im a 27 yr old single mother with a 7 yr old son. my son and i both have tourettes and ocd. is anyone else in this situation?
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I'm a 43 year old mother of a daughter who will be 6 in a couple of weeks.  She started shaking her head about a month ago.  We too got her a haircut and thought that would be that.  She still does it and sometimes has a little hum going with it.  She says she knows that she is doing it but can't help it and I believe her as she will do it right before she is asleep as well.  I asked her if something was bothering her (thought maybe she is self soothing) and all she said was that she misses me now that school has started.  I got her started on Amoxicillin this week as sometimes an untreated strep infection can cause wierd symptoms like this.  I don't know if it will work but it's worth a try.  I am very happy to know that I am not alone in this.  Getting worried.
AngelaMary43
Blank
Avatar_f_tn

I have an 8 yr old boy who is also shaking his head uncontrollably. He says he is aware that he has to do it because his head feels funny, but I'm not sure, as he does it when he's half asleep.

I have been told to ignore it and it will go away, as it's common for this age group to have nervous tics.. He is also putting his fingers up to his nose at the same time, which looks really weird. He is at a lovely school, where he is not bullied, but I am worried sick about him. Is it Tourettes, a habit, or an ear infection? It came on after two weeks of swimming, but also loads of computer games on holiday may have been the cause? He's very bright, and he doesn't seem to have been affected in that department yet.

I am planning on taking him to the doctor as it's now been a month. Have he antibiotics worked for you?
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have an 11 year old that did the same thing. i had asked him to stop and didnt didnt even know what he was doing.and his dr said it was his tourettes
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My 7 year old started doing this (head shaking) in early April '09.  A few weeks later he came down with strep.  We put him on abx, and it looked like it was starting to subside, but then started getting worse - arms shaking, doing a funny shuffle while he walked.  Then he got a fever again, and I got a sore throat.  We both went to the doctor and we both had strep!  I probably reinfected him and he never really got over it the first time.  He's now been on abx for just over a week and the symptoms have gone away.  I'm going to call his pedi in the morning to see if he should be on a longer course of abx than 10 days.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
has anyone experienced this head shaking symptom long term?  my son started at 4mos old and is almost 7yo and still does it!  he is aware of it, he only does it when he's awake and he can stop for a few seconds but then he starts again. he's had eye, ear tests along with MRIs and there are no problems.  his dr keeps saying it's only a habit but i don't believe a habit developed at 4mos as soon as he learned to sit up.  i feel that there must be a medical reason for this behaviour.  he's always had trouble at school focussing, reading, writing etc. i am not sure who to approach to get him further tests?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
in response to the 4 mo old, my son too has been doing this at about 4 months, and still does it and he is 2 1/2.  He is a little developmentally delayed, and I am trying to find the cause of this because it is usually when he is tired or woken up and is still sleepy, but he makes a moaning noise with it.  It is more frequent at night, throughtout the whole night, he sits up in bed and does this till either he falls asleep sitting straight up or falls over in bed.  My heart aches for him because he is up through most of the night, and there is nothing I can do to soothe him.  Please, if you find out more information, please email me ***@****.

Thank You
Blank
509215_tn?1363539423
Hello there ladies, I think that you both need to take your children for 2nd opinions because what you are both saying sounds like Tourettes Syndrome. I think that having your children be seen by pediatric neurologists is a must! This really is the only way to get truthful answers for your concerns. Keep on going to different doctors until you are satisfied! I hope that you both get the proper answers. Good Luck!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
My son is 6 and has done his own form of shaking since 6 months. He likes to stare at spinning objects with his mouth open, arms to his side, fingers splayed, body stiff and shake. Doesn't shake his head from side to side, just trembles like he is so excited he can't stand it. This started out as a reaction to my mother-in-law spinning drink coasters for him. Now he stares at anything that spins (especially embarrassing when a wheelchair passes and we have to stop and stare.) We have told several pediatricians about this and got the same response "ignore it; he will grow out of it." It is now being accompanied by occasional smacking - like he smacks himself on the leg while shaking and once on the face. Only seen him do the smacking twice. He also no longer needs to see something spinning. He likes to imagine that his hot wheels or any toy really, are moving and he stares at the motionless toys and shakes. We are scheduled to see a behavior specialist in April. I just witnessed one of the most "sever" episodes  - smacking and staring at his bowl of spaghetti. I noticed it is worse when he is tired or hasn't had a lot of exercise during the day. He knows he is doing it and tells us he likes and and can't help it. I know this doesn't exactly match your symptoms, but this is the closest I've come to his.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My 7 year old just started this shaking his head thing, following a day of being sick and trying to throw up. His fever was mild during his sickness. And was gone after 2 days. But the head shaking thing is still happening. Some times he can go an entire day without doing it and other times he does it throughout the entire day. He says he can't help it. The doctor first said it was something going on that is left over from being sick. But it has be 3 weeks now. We have an appointment to see a neurologist next month. My child is also a little slow in the developmental department. He is about a year behind the rest of the kids in his class. We passed all of the autisim test, and were told that he is not. But he does have a few qwerks. He also was rolling his head at the neck like a person would when their neck is stiff. I bought him a new (exspensive) :-) pillow, and that seems to have helped that problem. I am hoping for the best and that it is all just a pinched nerve from straining to throw up. When I give him a dose of decongestent it seems to help the head shaking. Maybe it it is something still going on from the sickness. But this mom still worries.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I am 28 and have two boy's a 2yr old and a 4yr old. My 4yr old started shaking his head about 3 week's ago. He since has not stoped I tell him to stop shaking his head and he say's I can't. I asked why he said that his head hurts then a few day's later he said he has to because the voice's in his head are calling him name's and he is trying to get them to stop. Now he shakes his head every few second's I don't know what to do. I am schedualing a dr.apt for him.

thank you for your time
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
My son began this head shaking about six months ago.  So many parents are posting to this site that it seems likely that there is a common explanation. My sons diet is not good, he refuses vegatables. I think a better diet would improve his health if not cure his head shaking.  --Bill
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
My son began this head shaking about six months ago.  So many parents are posting to this site that it seems likely that there is a common explanation. My sons diet is not good, he refuses vegatables. I think a better diet would improve his health if not cure his head shaking.  --Bill
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I also have an 8yr old son who shakes his head as well. It's been a few months now, but I can't really remember how far exactly it started. His teacher brought it up today at a conference, and I have brought it up to his pediatrician before in a past visit...but when he asked my son why he did it, he couldn't really give him a reason. I thought maybe he had earwax build-up but that has been ruled out & his Dr. thought he might be doing it for attention? His teacher said she has noticed it has become more frequent during the school day & suggested (along with the school district nurse) I have him checked out again because it might be something neurological. I broke down, being 5 mos pregnant didn't help me take the news softly either...the last thing any parent wants to hear is that something may be wrong with their child. He has an appt in a few days, hopefully we can get through this fast and find out what is causing it.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
My 4 year old son had a fever and a few days after that started bobbing/shaking his head uncontrolably. I noticed this when he was in a race, about to start, and he was lined up with a bunch of 4 year olds. I thought he was doing it to be funny but it hasnt stoped since and its been 4 days. I've asked him if hes doing it on purpose and he says he cant help it,and i can clearly see that,  but he's in no pain. Im hoping that its a symptom from him being sick and it will go away. Hes never had anything like this, and I dont understand how this just started out of no where. There has to be an explination. Ill take him to the doctor tomorow.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
My 7 year old son started shaking his head about 4 months ago.  We took him to a pediatric neurologist (of which had a tic himself) and we were told it was just a tic and is common among kids his age.  Made me feel a little better talking to the ped neuro doc...since he had a tic himself and could explain and relate to my son very well.  He stopped for about a month and now has started up again with the head shaking.  From what I gather from the doctor it's pretty much no big deal....if it's not bothering the child or becoming and issue in school.  The kids at school just ask him why he shakes his head....I told him to tell his friends that it's habit - some kids pick their nose, I shake my head :O)  
Blank
1670571_tn?1303709640
i have always rocked side to side either from the hip up or sway with my head side to side and my body too from one leg to the other. I also either flap my hands in one the side of me or shake them. this has been sence i was 2 1/2 people thought it was cute nothing of it untill a doctor said i need to see a neuroligst wich said its a sothing thing. I dont think so really because people would make fun of me for it if it was sotthing i would of hid it i never realy knew i was doing it till people told me then i tryed hard to stop, i just couldn't and had to do it again it not all the time but over 20 times a day. i am 20 now and i notice in the past few days because i have new hand movements with the rocking like the flaping of hands is in front of me and sometime i do somthing that looks like i'm hitting the pinao the way my hands are in front of me. i have noticed those to because there right in front of me. I wish i knew what it was so i could take somthing to stop it i try so hard but i can't if  i know i'm doing it, and then somtime i don't know when i do it. I am 20 now and its not that cute no more and for me people seem to notice.

If any ideas please write back thank you, CD
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hi, I'm reading everyones comments and noticing that my step son is somewhat like a few other children here.  As a baby he would rub his head on the carpet from side to side.  When I came into his life he was three.  At first it seemed to me that music would trigger it, when the song would stop he would still be shaking his head.  Then through the past few years, he shakes it all the time, non stop!  You can say buddy keep your head still and he will stop for a few seconds, but then he is doing it again.  He is in Kindergarden and the teacher picked up on it right away.  The doctor says its just a habit, some kids suck their thumbs and this is his habit!  It just doesn't seem normal to me, I know I'm just step mom, but I'm still worried!!!
Blank
973741_tn?1342346373
Kids do find different ways to self soothe.  I will tell you that I have one boy with a developmental delay and one without and my son without has done more of this kind of thing than the other.  Try not to worry.  good luck
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
my son shaking his head he cant stop we are talking him to the doc today , i think its his ears,  was this ur problem with ur child , i hope all is ok now , plz let me no tex me (tim 980-521-3172 , im looking for help if the doc dont know whats going on thanks tim nivens
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
my 10 yr son shaking his head , we are taking him to the doc toady ,  i hope ur child is ok now an all is gone , but what did the doc say , thank tim concord nc
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
my 10yr son is now shaking his head we will take him to the doc today ,  we noticed first , he used to open his mouth wide , like he was trying to pop his ears , now we was walk in walmart an he jumped skip , i said stop playing , he said i just wanted to jump, i said stop , but i noticed 2 weeks later is head shaking up an down, like he saying yes , an he does it 2 times, now a week later , we watch him saying something not right , so off to the doc toady , but he's had ear problems, no tubes but i think he need them, but not sure if this is the problem, so im not sure if ur child is ok now i hope so , im woundering if  this will go away in time , tim concord nc thanks
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
These symptoms sound totally like the little boy in my class who has Aspergers autism and Tourettes SYndrome. The motions are called tics and can also come in the form of shouting, spitting, etc. The boy in my class hits himself and/or the table. The intriguement with spinning sounds like autism. I would get a second opinion from the doctor. I could be wrong of course but it sounds really familiar. Look up these two syndromes. See what you think.
Blank
535822_tn?1389452880
Jump skip is normal child behavior when they are exhubrant..does he shake his head all the time, could it be hes getting attention by doing It?
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hi, I'm having the same issue with my son. He is almost 9 , has been swimming a lot this summer . He started shaking his head now and then, but for the past week he has been vigorously shaking a lot along with cracking his neck w and then. I'm wondering what happened to your son's habit? What worked for him?
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I'm 21year old.
I keeps on getting new new habits and I really myself hate it.
In childhood I remember I use to spit a lot that was for some couple of months, I usually clean my face with hand like I'm sweating (even doing now too :-/), and from last 6-7 months I got this worst habit of shaking head.
It starting with my habit of crackling neck left right.
And now I'm in bad condition.
When I don't do it, I feel so annoying and weird, So I end up shaking head.
And because I do it so badly and fast that my neck is paining hell lot all the time.
Usually I shake towards Right-side a lot and thus the pain towards right side of neck and shoulders is same as that of Cervical Pain.

I really hate it and make excuse of Cervical pain to people but I myself know what it is.

Ant this is the first time I just google-d for this problem and came here.

And I'm a Animation student so I have to sit on Pc for hours and hours.
Any solution guys ?
I really hate it.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
    Ya, I think its your hours on the computer.  You need to force yourself to take regular breaks and stretch everything.  I would make sure that your work station is correctly adjusted so that you are not straining.  but more importantly, you need to see someone who can help.  A chiropractor might be a good place to start or a sports medicine.  Acupuncture or  message fairly often will help.  Also they have things you can throw in the microwave, heat up and wrap around your neck to relax the muscles.
    I think you get a tight neck feeling and thats why you shake.  But now its probably become somewhat of a habit.   Try instead of shaking fast - to do it really sloooooow.  Take your time.  Take deep breaths and slowly rotate your head, shrug your shoulders.  Force yourself to go slow!
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
My daughter does the head shaking a lot and I have no idea what to do.  We are going to take her to the doc but i know they will just say its a tic.  I will demand a referral to the behavioral specialist i guess.  And why the hell does nobody update their comments on here.  This forum sure doesn't answer any concerns, it only makes them worse.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
    Ya, the not responding drives me nuts too.  We try and help and would love to know if our suggestions have helped.  I am guessing that since many people don't respond,  that our suggestions have helped and they quit posting - but who knows?  Our they do then get a medical appointment and that solves the problem.
    I do know that starting your own thread or post really increases your chances for our regular members to see your post and respond.  A lot of people seem to pick up our site from google and add their post to a very old post which many times gets missed by us.
    In your case, if this is somewhat of a recent event - I would go to a ear, nose, throat specialist first and rule out any medical condition.  If you look up what a tic looks like - I'm not sure that this would necessarily fit that description - but I would need more info.  Hope this helps.  And please post back what you do discover so others can be helped.  Best wishes.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
hi my son shaks his head now it started about 2 weeks ago i have asked him why he is doing it and.he said i dont no i dont no what to do but i am going to make a appointment to see the doc
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
My son is 7 and does the exact same thing everyone else is saying!  He shakes his head and when I ask him why he says he doesn't know. I did take him to the doctor who checked him out and he found nothing wrong.  The doctor said it's probably just a habit he picked up and he'll probably stop after a while.  I got his eyes checked too but the eye doctor said he has perfect vision.  It still worries me though.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
My younger half brother has had Tourette Syndrome since he was young. I don't remember the exact age his symptoms became obvious, but I know by 7 years old he'd had it for a couple/few years. He inherited it from his father.  My brother is now 30 yrs old. He mainly has the head jerking symptom.

He turns his head around a lot. His head used to jerk a little and move around more randomly. But, I think as he was trying to get more control over the movement, it started looking like he was turning his head sideways to look back over his shoulder. I think he was able to get some control over the movement, and it probably looked to someone just passing by that he was looking over his shoulder. But if you knew him, you saw that he did that kind of often.

I think he has some other symptoms, but I'm not familiar with them. I think he's had some muscle (back?)  issues associated with Tourette Syndrome.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I am 15 years old and had head trauma when I was a toddler. As long as I can remember every once in a while I can feel tense pressure come and I would shake my head vigorously for second or two. I can't find anything like it on the internet.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I am curious as to what you found out from the dr. Did you take your son? My son also put his fingers up to his mouth, would hop while walking (all the time and couldn't walk without hopping). Now he is shaking his head. I have been worried. what did you find out with your son?
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Child Behavior Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Children's Health Answerers
13167_tn?1327197724
Blank
RockRose
Austin, TX
973741_tn?1342346373
Blank
specialmom
134578_tn?1404951303
Blank
AnnieBrooke
OR
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
Sandman2
San Pedro, CA
480448_tn?1403547723
Blank
nursegirl6572
PA
757137_tn?1347200053
Blank
allmymarbles
NJ