My six year old son has gone through several "ticks" already and has now developed one that is very apparent to others. He "stretches" his neck back and forth constantly. His others included blinking, clearing his throat and humming softly when he was not talking. He seems to finish one and develop another immediatley. I had ticks as a child and grew out of them and am now a normal and well functioning adult. My husband,however,is a little concerned,especially since he is now being teased by other children.My question is.."What are ticks exactley and why do some children develop them?" also, "When is there cause for concern?" Thank-you.
Tics can arise from several sources. Sometimes they are manifestations of neurological disorders, sometimes they can be related to stress, sometimes they can be prompted by medications, etc. In children, it is not uncommon to witness transient tics, tics that appear and then disappear without treatment. Multiple motor tics in the presence of at leat one vocal tic can be indicative of Tourette Disorder, and this may be what you are witnessing in your son. It would be prudent to obtain an evaluation by a pediatric neurologist.
I have an 8 yr. old son with Tourettes. He's had tics since he was 5. The motor and vocal tics have come and gone and they're always changing - but that is the usual course of Tourettes. In school he has been approached by a few other children asking why he's doing (head jerking or gasping or jumping or repeating words - the list goes on and on) and I've told him to say, "It's just something my body does." Otherwise, unless he brings it up we just don't discuss it. I think it's important to answer their questions, but let them know they're still the same person and loved just the same, no matter what anyone may say to them. I also don't want to make it the focus of his life because then it becomes HIS focus. He takes his cues from his family. He knows he has something called Tourettes and his body does different things at times - and that's basically it. He's okay with it and the kids at school don't single him out every day. And those that do ask questions, particularly when his tic/s are pronounced, get the same answer and they don't ask any more. At that age they're satisfied to get a simple response - nothing more. So what I'm saying to you is that if your child does have Tourettes life does go on. As far as the teasing goes, children have to learn how to deal with teasing because, unfortunately, it's a fact of life and one doesn't have to have Tourettes to be teased. My oldest son was teased, very cruelly, when he was younger because he was considered to be a "nerd" due to being very intelligent. I think he suffered greater than my 8yr. old because of it. I know as a parent it hurts to think of someone being cruel to your child, but the best we can do for our children is to teach them coping skills - whether they have a physical condition or not. The biggest hurdle we've had to face with Tourettes is, believe it or not, in trying to get outside insurance he is "automatically" denied because of it. He also has epilepsy, but is automatically accepted into the risk pool. Fortunately he is under an HMO, but in looking into the possibility of my husband forming his own company in the future and getting insurance for the family I was shocked to discover this fact. Trust me, epilepsy is more costly to treat than Tourettes - with diagnostics and medication.
I'm a 37 yr.old male. I was diagnosed with T.S. at age twelve and started exibiting tics and strange behavior at age six. It was very hard growing up as the youngest with four siblings, that for the most part were very normal. I grew up in a very rough neigborhood where I was teased and mimmicked nearly everyday. I had to sit in the front seat in all my classes because of my last name starting with the letter A. I look back on all the cruelty that kids and adults can dish out because of ignorance and lack of compassion. It amazes me that I ever made to adulthood and went on to become successful and happy. For me it took leaving the state I grew up in and making a fresh start in Colorado immediatly after graduating high school. The types of jobs I worked in was always behind the seen, support work for others. At some point after I married and wanted to make more money and get ahead in my career, I decided to apply for leadership roles. This ultimatley meant I was forced to be in front of people, this was very uncomfortable for me in the beginning. After a lot of encouragment and my wife basically telling me to get over it. I really started to thrive and desire the attention and respect that I recieved by being in charge. I ultimatley went on to become a trainer and supervisor for a Telephone company. For the past 5years I have worked for this same telephone company as a recruiter and ultimatley manager of recruiting. I know my comment must seem like I'm bragging about myself. I just want parents to share with their children that anything is possible with the right attitude. I know in a lot of ways tourettes has made me much stronger and more sensitive toward others. My mom used to tell me when I was having a hard time "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger". words I live by today.
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