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Child (now 3years old) Twiches/Jerks During Sleep Several Times Since B...
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Child (now 3years old) Twiches/Jerks During Sleep Several Times Since Birth

My son has is now 3 years old and since birth, he had what was first identified as the "startle reflex" and then what his ped referred to as my son continuing to have a startle reflex well after it should have went away. My son, born at 37 weeks on the dot, and then on oxygen for 12 hours after his birth has been healthy except for extensive behavorial problems. However, his startle reflex has NEVER gone away while sleeping during naps or at night. He doesn't sleep well at night and this startle reflex is like a full body jerk or tremble, very fast, very short. I have consulted 4 doctors about this, 1  and a pychologist, none seem to think its and issue. Is this an issue, should I look to someone else, for help, is there anyone else to look to? I feel that maybe this may be a link to other problems my son is having, i.e. behavorial issues, lack of sleep... and I just want so much to give him the help he needs.

Thanks for any help you may offer.
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Hello.

The jerks your son has in sleep may actually be normal. You need to observe if the jerks are seen when he is falling asleep or coming out of sleep or anytime during the sleep. It is difficult to tell if it is a startle reflex. A startle is usually a reaction to some stimulus.

I would be interested to know what his behavioral problems are. Please keep me posted.

Regards
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Hi, I have been interested in your post because my almost five year old boy displays the same or a similar startle reflex (known as Moro reflex) and I have been wandering about it too.

When disturbed in his sleep (i.e.  when I need to carry him to his bed, after falling asleep in my bed or when I need to adjust his sleeping position) he will jerk his arms backward with his fingers spread apart. He was born two weeks before his due date but without complications. However he started showing symptoms of ADHD at 18 months and a delay in his speech and  language development (10 months at age 3), which I found out is quite common with boys with ADHD. Having been trained as an Occupational Therapist and believe that the startle reflex and the delayed language development seem to indicate a neurological immaturity of the brain. Fortunately the brain of a young child is very adaptable and my son has been showing increasing progress in his speech and language development. As his brain matures I believe, like  with his older brother, his ADHD symptoms too will become less severe and he will be able to learn behaviors that will help him cope better with this condition. The startle reflex too might gradually fade away as he matures neurologically.

Recently I found out that I have mild hypothyroidism and must have had it for a long time. I also read research that states that a mother‘s defficient thyroid function during
the pregnancy can influence the neurological development of the fetus. I suspect that in my case my low thyroid function may possibly have had a significant influence on my sons neurological immaturity and their manifestation of ADHD symptoms. But this is
something I still need to research a little further.

I would be interested to learn more about the other behaviors you indicated that your son displays as well as a better discription of his sleeping pattern.

Sincerely

Katherine7
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Thank you for responding to my question about about my 3 years and what I call a startle reflex. The full body jerking/jumping/twitching occurs during his sleep. I have started to time them, for example: Just yesterday during a nap, within one minute, he experienced 7 episodes, full jumps/jerks througout his body. One second he is sleeping soundly and then the next second he it looks as though he is jumping out of his skin, and the entire time he is sleeping. His arms fly about, legs jolt, and his breath catches. The episodes are clusterd together, and can go on back to back and then stop abruptly. They can be large jolts and then small ones. He has done this since about 2 weeks since being born and it has never stopped, it continues daily.

In regards to his behavior we began having trouble with him at 2 years old, at first we thought, he was spoiled. Then, he began hurting himself by hiting himself, biting, banging his head- and seemed to have an unusual tolerance for pain. Anything would set him off! We began going through the step with pychologist/counselors for Austims and Aspberger's. He is a very, very bright child, but seem frustrated and something seems wrong, and he seems like has trouble coping and is easily frustrated. Psychologists do not believe nor does he test on the Autustim spectrim and has been test again, this year, this past 6 months. He is very loving, but very defiant and frustrated and it could be because he isn't getting the rest he needs- possibly because of what is going on with what I am explaining?

I took him back to see his doctor this week to discuss these episode and his doctor tried to tell me, that my son was just dreaming, and experiencing the classic "falling from a high place feeling" therefor causing him to jump- so his doctor doesn't feel this is a problem. I still am troubled by this, and think there is more it!

Thank you for your time.
Natalie
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Hi Katherine7-

You are the first person that I found that has any similar experience to my son's. My son's episodes occor clusterd together while he is sleeping. They can happen multiple times, for example 5-7 times per minute. His entire body jumps, his legs jolt, arms fly up-
It sounded like your doctor acutally your son a diagnosis? I am going to look up the Moro Reflex  here in the next few minutes. Our doctors have been uncoopertive so far and I am hoping that will change after I know what direction to head, and I am hoping get that here.

As far as behavior goes, my three year old is very aggressive. We often times have problems with him being self injurious to himelf, i.e. biting and hiting. He spits, on people and object and he does that whether he is mad or not. He does no the difference between what is is allowed to do and not, for the most part. And, he already had a huge problem talking back- and has no other older brother and sisters nor is he around older children, he just turns what we say around. Also, his screaming is out of control, he will go through fits where he CANNOT be calmed down- by anyone- he will vomit- and still not be calmed down. Finally, fifteen-twenty minutes later after he just stops on his own, its like he is in a daze.  These fits, are rare any more, but they used to be almost daily during the terrible 2's.  Well, I think that about wraps up my son, beyond all that- he is a loving and joyful child-for the most part. :)

Thanks for your response-

Natalie
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Hi again,


I can sense and sympathize with your frustration as well as your son’s but hope you are well dispite the challenge.

Now that you have described your son’s jerky movements a bit better, I don’t think they are a startle reflex, since I believe you are saying they appear spontaneously. The Moro Reflex is triggered by a sudden change in an infants body position, i.e. when you hold a baby in an upright position (facing you, one hand supporting head and shoulders and the other under its bottom) and suddenly let it “fall” backward to a reclining position (still supporting it of course). This reflex normally fades away by the 6th month.

For your pediatrician to make a better judgment, I would like to suggest you videotape your son and keep a log for several days and nights and show him/her what exactly you are talking about and to rule out epilepsy.

Regarding the behavioral issues, my son’s terrible 2s, like many other kid’s would go beyond the age of 3 and 4 and biting, hitting and spitting were some of his bad “normal” temper tantrum habits that he outgrew. Head banging too can be a sign of frustration. Even today (at almost 5 years of age) my son’s temper tantrums can be intense. But one needs to consider he had and still has communication difficulties due to his delay in speech and language and that is very frustrating for a young child. While sleep disturbances can make your son (anybody actually) irritable and frustrated even aggressive, is there anything else that may be disturbing to him or people that he might be imitating?

You mention that your son’s temper tantrums can last for about 20 minutes and that he is seems dazed afterward. I would consider the time length normal, even average compared to other children that can have 30 minute and longer tantrums. Also, they are exhausting for a toddler and may cause a blood sugar drop. Offering him a little diluted natural juice may help. I imagine these tantrums make you feel pretty helpless, since one doesn’t have much control over them. I used to feel like that, until I realized they are a phase and developed some strategies to help him get distracted from whatever would frustrate him (whenever possible). Sometimes I just had to ignore the behavior and wait it out. Sometimes a tight hug would let him know I was still there for him and in control of the situation, especially if he could hurt himself or was very frustrated. It is important that your attitude is consistent and firm but loving to give him a sense of security, since he senses he is emotionally out of control and that can be somewhat scary for his age. I am sure you will find out what he responds best to. For more ideas and sound advice I can recommend “The Discipline Book”, from William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N. (they have the experience of having eight children).

Love Katherine
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Katherine-

You are seem so kind and knowledgable- thank you for all your encouragment and underderstanding. It is so hard to go from doctor to doctor hoping that they will be the key to help unlock the mystery behind what has been effecting our son- and to get NOTHING or to be strung along.  I pick up the book you mentioned and hopefully that will help us to our son. He has made so much progress from age 2 to 3 years old, but we still have so far to go, and I want so much for him to be able to go to school and be happy and participate in activities he seems to already show an interest for.

Thank you for taking the time and reaching out- it means so much. I hope and wish you all the best with your own children.

All the best-
Natalie
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OMG......you have given me such a peace of mind...thank you so much
Today while on my way to church my 20 month old son started jump/twitching during his nap(first time this has ever happened). He took a 20 min nap in the car and jumped/twitched about 10-13 time!!!!!!

When he woke up he was FINE.....I wasnt sure what to do so tonight when he went to bed i laid with him and sure enough it started happening again...so to the phone i ran spoke with a nurse she said it might be signs of a siezure...so of course i went stright to WEB MD....THANK GOD he doesnt have any signs that fit a siezure.....i was determinded to find out what was wrong so i could sleep with a lil peace:) i ran across your question and i ended up reading all the comments.

Every thing that is on here is him......so tomorrow he will see his doctor
But i just wanted to thank you for posting your ? you never no how much a complete stanger can help you:)
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hi,my daughter is 8 and has suffered with the same since about 1 year old,they start within  5 minutes of her falling asleep and carry on,on and off for a few hours.When she was to 3and a  half she started havin febrile convulsions,then drop attacks,they did mri scans and EEG to check for epilepsy but as they were all done when she was awake they were inconclusive.now if she is ill and her temp raises too much  she has a seizure.She also has terrible temper problems and can be hard to control.(though not all the time thankfully) Every night i have the fear will they turn into a seizure in her sleep.I would be very gratefull if any of you find out what they are if you could post it please as this would be a gerat help to me.
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I have been very frustrated with the same problems. We adopted our daughter who will be 3 next month. She was exposed to opiates, meth, alcohol, marijuana & cigs. in utero. She was born 7 weeks premature, through emergency c-section (the umbilical cord :prolapsedcausing decreased oxygen) she had a seizure at birth. She is very bright. The doctor just diagnosed her as IED. Interm. Explosive Disorder. She to was tested for Autism/Aspergers. They said no, because she has a very large vocabulary, even though all of her therapist think differently.
She has NEVER been a sleeper. She takes 3 mg Meletonin and 1/2 tab Clonidine before bedtime and still wakes up often, and even in a so called sleep state, she is tossing and turning, jerking, yelling all night long. Sometimes she jumps up screaming and brushing her body to "get the bugs and spiders" off.
Her O.T. has expressed concerns about posible seizure activity when she was working with a "hugging swing" . We have tried 4 times to get a sleep EEG done on her, but; even with the medicine (suppoisitories and Tenex prior) she never fell asleep. She tried to walk and she just kept moving her body We had also tried for a MRI 4 times. Never fell asleep, the 4 try they gave her meds through an IV, she did fall asleep but within 10-15 minutes, she started moving around in the machine so they stopped it.She starts her day as if she has had 20 cups of coffee, and goes up from there. She is ALWAYS in MOTION. She has more and more aggressive meltdowns, where she is screaming, hitting and biting me or her father, to becoming very emotional and crying. It breaks my heart. She has many sensory issues.. They also thing that she may be bipolar, as well as AD/HD. My quiestion is, if her brain does not slow down enough to sleep WITH drugs, then how can my daughter get the rest she needs to rest her mind and body.
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Hi njbryan, how are you? Hope your son is doing better? Can you provide some more details regarding the jerks your son is going through - how often they occur and is it a continuous one or keeps repeating in an on and off pattern? Have you observed whether these jerk you mention does continue even after he falls asleep? Is there anything that you do or it stops on its own? Usually, hypnic - sleep jerks or twitches are normal and can occur while he tends to fall asleep or when trying to wake up from sleep. It is better to consult a neurologist and get him evaluated. Take care.
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I have a two year old son who had 2 seizures within 1 week and now my son has trouble sleeping. He Jerks/Trinches in his sleep. This is constantly through the night. He moves his arms, hands, feet and his head sometimes move. His arms flop out and then he jumps and sometimes wakes up. My son like to sleep in my arms, but he constantly moving the whole time. Before his seizures accured, I didn't have any problems out of my son not to mention he is still loving and caring. Now he likes to hit back and fight alot. He gets frustrated often and then he will throw things. He picks of small pieces of objects and put them in his mouth (such as buttoms, pieces of shadowed glass). All these things accured after his seizures.
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my son is 2 and since he was a baby his body would twitch as he was falling asleep, it got worse and his arms would fly up or his whole body would stiffin up it was so hard to watch every night, now when he is tired or falling asleep his arms will move along with his head like he is playing with a toy or reaching for something. when i say something to him he stops and gets mad at me for saying something to him so Im not sure if he knows what he is doing or not but when he is doing it his eyes blink sometimes. everyone thinks im crazy when i tell them about it and they dont understand what it looks like till they see it for themselves and is scares them. he is my fourth child and i know its not normal but if its not going to hurt him then i will leave it alone. what could this be?
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Hi,
I was just reading these posts because my daughter (22 months) also has the jerking/twitching at night and at naptime! It all started when she was a couple of weeks old and when I asked the Ped about it he said that it was normal with babies and usually stops by age 1. Well, she is almost 2 now and it still happens, arms, legs, body, but it's not a violent jerk, just little spontaneous ones. I am concerned so I will tell her Dr. and post what they say.

But as far as your son's jerky movement's while playing and awake during the day. It sounds like what I have. I started having those arm/head jerks when I was about 13 and thought nothing of it. But when I had my child (at 20)  it got worse as I had lack of sleep. So I went to the neurologist to be checked and had an EEG done. The results, I have a type of epilepsy called Myoclonic Seizures, when it only effects a part of your body. They told me that it could turn into full blown seizures if not treated. So now I am on medication and it hasn't happened in about a year. I would suggest you taking him just to be on the safe side.

Hope this helps! And good luck! I know it's scary!
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OMG.  This sounds like my 10 year old.  I have been to doctor to psychiatrist to counselor to psychologist and none of them have linked her constant night time jerking and twitching to her behavioral problems.  I have finally insisted that the pediatrician send her for a sleep study to see if we can find out something more.  She has been diagnosed w/so many behavioral issues it is ridiculous.  ODD, ADHD, depression, anxiety, PDD/NOS. I think it has something to do w/her sleeping but no one will listen to me.  
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I know this was a few years ago and I hope that you have found the answers you were looking for, but if not look up infantile spasms.  Try to youtube it and you can see other children who have this a maybe relate it to what you and your son went through.  
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My son has the same exact symptoms since 2yrs old. He has everything in common. The frustation & rage. He no longer bites him self or bangs his head. I always hoped he would grow out of it but he never has. I just started him in private counciling and also seeking help @ his school. I am fighting tooth & nail 4 my baby & won't stop. I want the best for him & I'm believing for a break through in my sons life. But if there is anything a dr can let us know as far as an eplanation 4 this. Its exhausting sometimes but won't give up on my son!
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My son has the same exact symptoms since 2yrs old. He has everything in common. The frustation & rage. He no longer bites him self or bangs his head. I always hoped he would grow out of it but he never has. I just started him in private counciling and also seeking help @ his school. I am fighting tooth & nail 4 my baby & won't stop. I want the best for him & I'm believing for a break through in my sons life. But if there is anything a dr can let us know as far as an eplanation 4 this. Its exhausting sometimes but won't give up on my son!
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I'VE BEEN READING THE COMMENTS OF OTHER MOMS AND I FINALLY FEEL LIKE IM NOT CRAZY!!! MY DAUGHTER HAS BEEN EXPERIENCING THE SAME JERKING/JUMPING MOVEMENTS WHILE SLEEPING BEFORE SHE TURNED 1YRS.  SHE IS NOW 3YRS AND STILL HAS THIS PROBLEM.SHE SEEMS TO ONLY REALLY MOVE HER LEGS;  LIKE AS IF IT WERE RESTLESS LEG SYNDROM (syndrome). I HAVE TRIED TO TREAT HER AS IF IT WERE THAT BUT ALL THE REMEDIES DONT WORK.  THERE ARE A FEW DIFFERENCES. SHE DOESNT DO IT EVERY NIGHT OR DURING NAPS.  IT USUALLY OCCURS EVERY 2 TO 3 MONTHS. SHE WILL WAKE HERSELF UP FROM HER SLEEP AND THEN STARTS TO CRY.  SHE WILL SCREAM WHEN SHE IS FRUSTRATED BUT THATS NOT OFTEN EITHER. SHE DOESNT BITE OR HIT FOR NO REASON AND FOR THE MOST PART SHE JUST SEEMS VERY ENERGETIC AND HAPPY.  SHE HAS HAD AN EEG AND MRI WHICH BOTH CAME BACK NEGATIVE FOR SEIZURES.  MY PED ALSO TOLD ME THAT SHE WOULD GROW OUT OF IT AND THAT THEY WERE NIGHT TREMORS/TERRORS.  LAST NIGHT IT HAPPENED AGAIN AND IM AT MY WITS END!!! WHAT USUALLY HAPPENS IS THAT WE BOTH DONT SLEEP, AND WE BOTH END UP CRYING TO NO END. ANY SUGGESTIONS AT THIS POINT WOULD BE GRATLY APPRECIATED. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE
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My 6 week old baby boy just started doing this... he does it all throughout his sleep.. whether at nite or during the day. He will do what looks like the startle reflex~throwing arms up and legs will jolt,sometimes he will kinda whimper and open his eyes. I thought it might be seizures so I called the pediatrician and he scheduled an eeg test. Well the test showed that they are not seizures which kinda eases my mind but part of me still thinks there could be something wrong with him. He has a twin sister and she does not do this.
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I am debating on whether to ask my pediatrician to have an mri done too just to be sure they are not seizures... its just weird that he just started doing it out of nowhere.. I'm kinda freakin out about it. Any advice is appreciated!
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I just typed "toddler twitching in sleep" and this page came up, and I am blown away at how many children are doing the same thing with the same other "problems" such as autusm, ADHD, etc..  It seems that doctors diagnose and medicate but do not research or explain much. Where are the common threads? My three-year-old seems autistic. His 10-year-old brother is mildly so, and yet I am still not convinced that this is entirely genetic unless there is some genetic sensitivity to environmental aggressors such as lead or other toxins in the air, water, baby toys, who knows... This is frighteningly common. My 3 y. o. seemed perfectly normal until about 10 months, and then he began reminding me of his big brother (squealing instead of trying to talk and so forth). Two houses up, a little girl was autistic. Three houses up and across the street, a little boy became autistic around his first birthday. Three boys moved in two houses up and all three seem to have aspergers or some level of autism or bengin social awkwardness. I live on a street full of autistic children. One mother on this street told me that they had the water tested and the lead content was so high that they did not drink it - and moved into a newer house. How many of these children seem to have allergies or sensitivities as well? My boy also has screaming fits in the middle of the night in which he attacks me as though I were a monster, and after about 30 minutes, he stops and smiles at me. This is all too strange...and utterly heart-breaking. Another possible toxin...how many of you parents have/had fathers or grandfathers who fought in Viet Nam? My dad died of agent orange poisoning (that manifested as leukemia) and I have been warned that this poisoning passes through the sperm and infects bodies from one generation to the next. Bottom line, it must be toxins...but which ones, and why are we not getting answers? Seems like a case of biological warfare to me!
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One more comment...

Has anyone considered oral chelation therapy? I am about to buy some pills and try it on myself as a guinea pig, and we'll see from there... I would love to hear of results or comments on chelation therapy.
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Hi.  My son also jerks in his sleep repetitively.  He also jerks occasionally when his is awake, except it is much more subtle- like a slight head jerk.  

He had a very sensitive moro reflex when he was an infant and started the jerking around 3.5 months.  He is now 13 months.  

I was convinced that he had epilepsy-- he has had 7 video EEGs in his short little life and they have all been normal.  He also has had two normal MRIs.

Interestingly, he has numerous allergies and he is a very sensitive little guy.  Wonder what is going on with our children?

FYI-- my husband also jerks in his sleep and always has.  I actually counted him one night for a couple of hours and I counted 22 jerks in about a 3 hour span.  So, it could be genetic.  
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Just came across this post because my 3.5 year old son started major behavioral issues at 3... stopped sleeping through the night, spasms at night, nightmares, very anxious, hitting himself in the head, biting, hitting everyone, choking/bear hugs, clenched fists, facial grimaces with tic like sounds, etc., etc.  I've looked at Autism, Tourettes, Aspergers, Epilepsy.  Pediatrician shrugs it all off since he's hitting his major developmental milestones... saying "he's a boy" and "he'll outgrow the tics" and "all kids tic"... I was feeling like a bad mom who cannot control my child... but the tougher/stricter we got - the WORSE he got.

FINALLY got him to a psychologist who suggested SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder).  Took the evaluation and he has/is proprioceptive, sensory seeking and emotionally reactive.  This sounds like it might help several people on this link... look up http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/  and my sister just sent me the brain balance center website (they are too far for us to go to - but they have good info... this is not an ad).  So now we are going to an Occupational Therapist in our community and hoping it will help... We are also going back to our pediatrician to make them pay attention to this.  I'm still not certain about the spasms at night (have not talked to the OT about that)... but she saw the "space-out" he did during our session today - and said we should talk to the ped about that in case it is epilepsy... I'm thinking it must all be connected somehow to the brain not "being organized".

As to why our kids are all doing this?  I saw something on autism being connected to stress of the mom during in-utero... and since I was major stressed at the time due to a demanding job... I'm chalking major part of it to that... (I'm the feminist/moderately liberal type who now suddenly believes in the old fashioned mom stay at home bit, but cannot afford it in our current situation)  but also I strongly believe we are slowly killing ourselves by all the toxins we put into our environment... it's ridiculous what's in our shampoos, cleaners, toothpaste, etc.  Just a thought... my husband thinks I'm "over the top" :) !
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Dear kp0807

I sense Your deep frustration. On one hand not being able to find out what is causing Your son’s problems and feeling helpless and on the other feel guilty because You are not able to “control” your child’s behavior (especially in public or in front of others. I know those feelings well. I have wept many times because I was watching helplessly my child’s frustrations and felt the same embarrassment for not being able to even redirect their behavior. Also I too had noticed that stronger disciplinary actions were only making things worse.

Dear kp0807, I want to reassure You that not knowing how to cope effectively with behavior issues that have a physiological foundation does not make You a bad mother – it is only a false type of guilt, if You know what I mean, stemming from false expectations we may believe we have to meet for others. I actually want to applause You for seeking help for Your son early and with such perseverance. With the Occupational Therapist You seem to he is in good hands and have made a good start. They are able to notice neurological abnormalities and treat them, as well as address behavioral issues quite well. As she gets to know Your son a bit better She may even be of great value to gather clues as to where the root of the problem lies.

Both my children have been diagnosed with ADHD. My youngest, 8 today, has additional neurodevelopmental issues that have affected his language development for the major part. Only recently did we pursue a full neurodevelpomental exam by which revealed some mild neurological abnormalities on his right side of the body – the same side where the language center is. He had an EEG done also, because of episodes of jerking and stiffening in his sleep, as well as the night terrors he used to have. The EEG came back negative for epileptic activity, which was good to know and rule out.. As I have described in an older post on this thread the jerking and stiffening were likely caused by a residual Morro reflex, which had been confirmed by the Neurologist. In regard to the nighttime awakenings and night terrors (during which I was not able to console him in any way), I am happy to say they went away by themselves around age 6. He still has a lot of behavioral issues, but that is to be expected with ADHD and the frustrations of his communication difficulties which seem to stem from difficulties processing (similar to sensory processing disorder, but mainly auditory and language associated).  

You mentioned that Your son has had problems with his sleep, waking up and having spasms. Did this start abruptly, perhaps after a cold or flu infection or did it progress gradually?

How well do You think he sleeps? How many hours of sleep does he get total? When did the anxiety, the biting start and other behavior issues start, compared to the change of his sleep pattern ?

While anxiety and behaviors of frustrations can be explained by chronic lack of efficient quality and quantity of sleep, the ticks and tick like (?) facial grimaces may have a different cause, possibly a neurotransmitter deficiency. But the big question for You of course is what is causing all of this?

I strongly recommend that You ask Your pediatrician to refer You to a Neurodevelopmental Neurologist who is familiar with autism and other autism spectrum disorders and perhaps Tourette’s.  A local Autism and or Turett’s support group may be able to recommend someone that Your insurance covers. It is a big blessing that You also have the Occupational Therapist to back You up in this request, she may also be able to suggest a good Neurologist.

Finally I also would like to suggest the possibility of an autoimmune reaction causing these ticks and other behavior issues. That is why I asked if this all started after a cold or flu. There is a condition called P.A.N.D.A.S, which stands for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsyciatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections. It can cause a combination of OCD type behavior, Tourette like ticks and other behavioral issues. It is thought that the autoimmune system , as it is trying to fight off  the invading Strep bacteria it somehow mistakingly attacking the brain at the same time (a type of mistaken identity issue), resulting in a sudden onset of the neuropsyciatric behavioral issues, which usually improve after an antibiotic treatment. You can read up more details about this condition on the links below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PANDAS

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/432046

While Wikipedia may not be an acknowledged source of medical information by a physician, most of the edited articles are  backed up by a list of medically valid resources and articles from research and medical publications.

The article from the second link is an abstract from a Medical Journal. So this would be a good article to show Your pediatrician or Neurologist, if You suspect this condition and want to (gently) suggest to him to consider P.A.N.D.A.S. as a possible diagnosis. (I mention gently because sadly, some physicians get offended if You suggest something.) Your Occupational Therapist might also be willing to help with the right approach.

I hope that some of the information here will help You. I will be praying for You and Your little guy, that You may find Your way back to health. In the meantime I hope You will be able to have all the necessary patients You may need

Love Katherine7

P.S. As I was looking to post this and was trying to tracked down Your name I happened to read the first post You made in the child behavioral forum. You actually mention there that Your son had strep for 3 months. So P.A.N.D.A.S. may well be a diagnosis that fits. I wish You well and I will also pray that Your pediatrician will take this into serious consideration and have him tested and treated accordingly.
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January 30, 2008, there was a lady that posted about her son at the time being 3 yrs old, having these twitches in his sleep and you said it could be behavioral. Well, my son does the same thing in his sleep. He's been doing it from day one. When he was an infant, he didn't hardly sleep at all. I found out that he has Autism and he will sleep at night, but he jumps all the time. He sleeps with me and I'm up all night wondering why he's doing that. And he snores really bad also while he's asleep. I constantly turns him where he can stop snoring so loud. What can I do? They think his tonsils are enlarged. Could that be the issue?
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my son is is 2 he was born 6 weeks early , as your son my son has these twitches in his sleep, all four limbs in a repeteditive  rapid twitch then he relaxes and then they start again, he has done this since birth i had a 1 hour eeg done on him at 4 months. they said they saw a little glitch but none to be concerned about he was premature and his neurological issues would go away by six months, i repeatedly have spoken to his doctors and nurses about this every time he sleeps twitching, and they saw startle reflex, my son had what they called tortacollis aswell when he was born but after therapy his therapist noticed his torticollis was not consistant to one side i watched him more closely. he would have these twitching episodes at night, after he did his right fist would stay clenched and would take him a while after he awoke to work it out we did this by making him reach out with that hand only till it was more movable,the therapist contacted his doctors  becase torticolis is a muscle tention consistant to one side of the neck not switching, this goes on without any acnowledgement from the doc. for a year so . i changed his sleep patterns so that he would be asleep during doctor visits,the doc walks in and im holding my sone as he is twitching all four limbs she emediately refered him for a six hour sleep deprived eeg, which i go to in november 2011. as your son my son also shows signs of having adhd severe adhd as i have one son diagnosed with this disorder already but my 2 yr old is more active than i sometimes can handle. i fiind this mostly when he is tired that he is more active than when he is not , that is the only signs he gives when he needs to sleep. he is behind as well in speaking. this in no way is normal, i have 4 older children that has never had these issues. nor do i find any with these issues till you. i hope we can resolve this together this is a good sign to me that there is someone out there than can understand what my child has had to endure, i need to ask you  one question does you child seem to vomit more than most easy gag reflex? thats the only thing besides the torticollis that i see diffferent. my email address is ***@**** if you would like to contact me i think that with eachothers knowledge and different teams of doctors, we can get something done for our children 2 is always better than one medically, thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
my son who just turned 2 has been twitching in his sleep, since he was about 3 months old, not the big jerks you all explain, his head just twitches 3 or 4times every 20/30 mins or so... until he has ben sleeping for about 3 hous his behavior is really bad, its been a terrible 1 and a half so im sort of dreading what the terrible 2's, 3's and 4's hold...  he still walks on his toes, and his vocabulary minimal... he is still at the parrot stage. repeating everything (is that normal at his age), however he does tell me when he wants something to drink, wants to go out side, when he is hungry, when he wants love etc... but he isnt piking up new words... or undersanding simple questions like "what is your name" he knows his name he often reffers to himself in 3rd person when he feels like talking... but he is just bad... i dont know how to meet his demands, he often screams at the top of his lungs when i try to discipline him(make him sit in one spot for 10 mins), and he hits me and his father often, throws himself on the floor nd hits his had in the wall....  it amuses him when we say "ow" when he hits or bites us. he often hits his head in a wall or on the floor when he is upset and allllwwwaaayyyss wants to be in someones arms... he is very anti social and hits other kids or throws his toys at them... he fake cries all the time just to get in someones arms... his focus is a little off... he also has  fascination with breasts (i have 4 siters 3 of witch allow him to fondle their breasts and taught him the words "boobies, and nipple") so when he wants to molest me he says "boooobbiiieee" and when i tell him no he slaps me.... umm what else ooh he runs around shaking his head room left to right very fast, and sometimes falls because of it... and he dos this shaking head thing toooo often for comfort... he wont play in his room unless im sitting in the room with him... his focus is a little off, especially when he does this shaking head thing... and he is extremely hyper all the time... when we go outside there is no stopping him nd he often doesnt respond  to his name (he knows what his name is but he wont respond to it all the time) h seems like he is in a daze, and you have to scream to snap him out of it. im concerned he might have autism (my brother is autistic) however their behaviors at these ages are slightly different... and also i dont know who to speak to about these problems... his pediatrician is very "blah" almost like a robot... he is not concerned ith anything i tell him he just shrugs it off... so if anyone can help give me advice id appreciate it... and im a 1st time young mother im 22 so im extremely new to this kind of thing and i dont know what to look out for, or who to talk to//
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Avatar_f_tn
my son since birth hasnt slepted much and when he doesnt get sleep he likes the headbutt hit people throws things etc his father has adhd n some other health issues but everytime i tell his pediatrician she says theres nothing wrong with him it scares me he doesnt get enough sleep he sleeps maybe 4 hours out of the 24 hour period its been like this since birth i dont get much sleep but im more worried about him can someone atleast give me some advice n another thing is hes tries deliberately hurting himself
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My son is four and JUST started having this issue two nights ago.  He could be sleeping soundly for hours and then for next few hours, he has those full body jerks like he's gonig to bounce straight up in the air, his legs kick, his arms flail - strange. After he wakes up, he's fine.  I ask him if he remembers doing it and he says no but I know he's not sleeping well b/c he's been super tired now for two days. He has no behavioral issues and has always been an excellent sleeper.  I thought it was a reaction to a new medication (his doctor thought he had allergies and put him on Zyrtec and Nasonex).  I stopped using them today but I don't know if that's the problem - hard to say b/c like it said, it has happened only for the past two nights and I just stopeed the medicine today.  Has anyone had a similar case? Where the problem starts as late as 4 years old with no history of behavioral problems?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello, my six year old son has the same symptoms as many of the posts. I am actually amazed that I landed on this site because I have looked all over the web to find help or to see if anyone has something similar and now finally I have found all of you, now I don't feel so alone in this. This started about two years ago when my son was 4 yrs old, after receiving the swine flu vaccine about a day later they began at night.  He would start to fall asleep and immediately jump, throwing an arm up and we went on like this for three nights, I took him to our physician and drew blood for vitamin deficiencies and nothing showed up and we were on our third night and the doctor said if it occurs again tonight, we will hospitalize him tomorrow. Sure enough they stopped and I was thankful but it left me with no answers, we have had slight similar episodes for maybe one night and then they stopped until now, two years have past and I am here again, three nights of no sleep. I have really dove into it this time online and have tried to come up with answers. My son is the pickiest eater on the planet, no veggies, not much fruit, no milk or dairy, it is nearly impossible to get him to eat and I am thinking it could be a vitamin deficiency, I loaded him up on magnesium, calcium and for the first time tonight potassium, because he won't eat anything that helps with these nutrients, I am too the point where my husband and I won't allow him to leave the table until he eats these things. He has seemed a little better tonight, I will be going back in his room shortly to lay beside him like I have for three nights and just stay awake and monitor him, I told my 11 yr.old daughter tonight that I feel like crying because I know how exhausted he is and I have never experienced something for my kids that I couldn't fix and this is killing me, watching him suffer in this way and what can I do!  I have scheduled at the Cleveland Clinic with their top pediatric sleep disorder specialist and we go next week.  He comes highly recommended and is a graduate from Stanford Univ. and did several studies in India for sleep and children, so we will have to see what he says. I will keep everyone posted as I know you have all experienced what I am. Thank you to so many who have shared your experiences, it is so reassuring to hear that someone else is experiencing what I am and I hope whatever I do find out can possibly help you with finding the right answer. Take care and God Bless!


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Avatar_m_tn
I am interested in what has been going on with your son since the last post.  My son who will turn 4 in a couple of monmths has been twitching at the onset of sleep since her was 5 weeks old.  I found your story very similar to ours.  We thought he was having seizures, but he has had 3 EEG's and a sleep study and they have been negative.  We went to Barnes in St. Louis and they have no idea.  We have put it on video.  We never know when it's going gto happen.  He will be asleep for an hour and then it starts.  He will twitch every 30 seconds and it lasts continuously for 8 hours straight!  We are up all night with him screaming because he is soo tired and frustrated.  If you have any suggestions please let me know1
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I have a daughter who is now almost 19.  She has always twitched horribly in her sleep and has not grown out of it. She has suffered from numerous infections throughout her life, swollen lymph nodes in the armpits that move to be infection.. She also developed mono a few years back.  When she was little she was diagnosed with ADHD, depression and anxiety. She has an audio processing disability because of all the ear infections as a child. She now has insomnia with RLS and they put her on Parkinson meds to try to help her sleep. She is always feeling run down and sick even before the RLS medication . Along with all this she has sever headaches,as well as joint pain equal on both sides one month it is both knee next it is wrists then hip pain.  I just wish they knew how to help her get better :(  I am understanding now how sleep deprivation can bring on all kinds of illnesses,  We tried to go the natural rout green tee with honey non decaff. Melatonin tabs did not work. The RLS meds make her dizzy and nauseated. there is CFS that leads to all these things going on with her as well. I just wish someone would help the poor kid. She is miserable.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi.  My 3 year old son had 2 bad seizures in 5 days.  He used to twitch all night.  We just had an EEG done.  No meds yet. We have put him on a raw diet.  It has been amazing.  I have learned that food is key.  Vitamin E, Omega 3, Omega 6, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12.  Here is a link that a Master Herbalist said was great.
http://www.herbsfirst.com/descriptionsformulas/nerveformula.html

You may want to look into MSG and the effects on the brain.  Here is a video on Google for you.  What I have learned is that as a parent we have to be informed.  The MSG is disturbing but may be an important thing for you to examine.

http://technorati.com/videos/youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DbEh3_JBDErw

May the Lord Bless you in your quest for knowledge.
A friend from Colorado
FYI: my 3 year old is now seizure free.  Find a good naturopath.  We do acupuncture, Chiropractic, Massage, and raw food, and vitamin supplements.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, since my 2 1/2 was a baby I had a handful experiences where he'd shake in his sleep . I told his pediatric and he told me that it was normal. Well tonight, (mind you it's about 5:30 am) his dad slepted on the coach and my son and I slepted in bed. I heard I'm call out for me in his sleep, I cuddled him noticed he hardly was covered. While I was warming him up he started to shake. It was less than ten seconds because I hovered over him then about three minutes later it happened again lasting around the same time. I picked him up noticed he was kind of breathless And I took him to his room layer him on his bed watched his breathing then I woke him up from his sleep asking him if he's o.k. . He's now tossing and turning because I have the lights on. How far should I take this can someone help us.
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Avatar_f_tn
My son displays very similar symptoms and we have found homeopathy has helped enormously. You have to stick at it as its ongoing treatment but if you find a good, supportive homeopath it can change your child's life! It helps them to rid the body of toxins which block their development etc. Also a diet gluten and dairy free and dare I say it avoiding sugar as much as possible is essential along with daily probiotics. I wish doctors were more informed, they will catch up soon hopefully.
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Avatar_f_tn
My son displays very similar symptoms and we have found homeopathy has helped enormously. You have to stick at it as its ongoing treatment but if you find a good, supportive homeopath it can change your child's life! It helps them to rid the body of toxins which block their development etc. Also a diet gluten and dairy free and dare I say it avoiding sugar as much as possible is essential along with daily probiotics. I wish doctors were more informed, they will catch up soon hopefully.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi how are you? I just came across this message and my 5 year old has been doing the same jerking when he falls asleep and it comes and goes with different twitches thorughout the evening.  And he moves around his bed often.  I was just wondering how your child is doing and what you found out. Thank you.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I stumbled upon this forum while researching reasons why my non-verbal 4.5 year old has spasms/movements/startle reflex in his sleep. He does not have an autistic DX but it's likely he has ADHD and some cognitive delays
He is being seen by every imaginable Dr., we r exhausted
I have to say that I'm amazed by the number of you who didn't mention the need to see a professional/Dr
I read one post that goes way back to 2010 where the child would vomit after what appeared to be seizure like activity
Its been years...but I hope he is ok. Many folks seemed to be describing what could be infantile spasms
Also...it would be important for any who have not consulted w an expert to see a neurologist ASAP
My concerns would be...infantile spasms, CP, ASD or ADHD
I'm not a physician but found it concerning that some were advised that these seizure- like activities could just b typical 2 year old behavior. Good grief!
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Avatar_f_tn
Having similar problem with my 1yr old son his fontanelle closed early since then he makes at night  screaming has violent  her jerks when sleeping night and day is lashing out bitting himself  and everyone and everything fearless never really cries when things seem sore this is my second child and never experienced this with my first any advice ADHD  has crossed  my mind
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Avatar_f_tn
Having similar problem with my 1yr old son his fontanelle closed early since then he makes at night  screaming has violent  her jerks when sleeping night and day is lashing out bitting himself  and everyone and everything fearless never really cries when things seem sore this is my second child and never experienced this with my first any advice ADHD  has crossed  my mind
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi everyone,
I have found the answer to my son's sleep twitches. I too read message boards since day one of my now 4 year olds birth wondering the source of his bodies behavior as he slept. Never got any answers nor did he grow out of these mysterious symptoms. Here are a few symptoms he had. He would fall asleep and sweat for the first 20 minutes of rest (not all the time, but enough to get my attention), his hair would get wet. Soon after he fell asleep his body would twitch, the twitching bounced all around his body. He was a "Colicky" baby (breast fed). Around 2 years old he started having night terrors, not all the time but he has had them off and on since about 2 years old. He'd wake up from naps really groggy. But in the morning he woke up just fine. For a few months in a row he would get a fever of about 101 for one night once a month and than it would just go away over night (the fevers never bothered him), I thought it was teething related (I went to a ped for this and she was perplexed as the frequency of fevers were uncommon, she was no help). But other than those few sleep related issues he was and is super fun, happy, healthy, energetic kid who has a great vocabulary and loves to be active. I would have never guessed he had what he has. Long story short I was tipped off by a good friend who had just been diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Her symptoms sounded just like how I feel, I thought I had a thyroid disease (Hashimoto's thyroiditis, my mother has it). I never felt terrible just a little tired, I just thought that was motherhood. But sure enough I got tested by a LLMD and I have Lyme and coinfections. I had my son tested and he has Lyme, Babesia and two other coinfections I can't list off the top of my head. These diseases all had twitching as apart of their symptoms (he only twitches in his sleep). Night sweats, night terrors, everything was a symptom related to tick born diseases. He was bit by a tick or I possibly passed these diseases to him while pregnant (we also have dogs that could be a possibility). I don't know when I got bit. Never saw the tick and we live in Coastal California where I never knew lyme disease exist! It does just in case you're wondering, Lyme is in every one of our states here in the US. Knowing what I know now it's an epidemic.
The few things that alarmed me of your post Katherine is the mention of your thyroid and the ADHD. Lyme is being linked to ADHD, Asperger's, Alzheimer's, Thyroid, fibromyalgia and many more. It's showing up in autopsy research related to Lyme. You would never know my son has it. He's a really energetic happy kid. Anyone interested in more information please use the information from  ILADS.
http://www.ilads.org/
The government ran sites are not up to date on Lyme info. It's gone to epidemic proportions as you'll see if you dig into lyme research. This may not be what your children have. I only feel responsible to share my findings with you all as I never once came across Lyme Disease or tick born related illnesses as a possible cause to my son's mysterious symptoms.
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Avatar_m_tn
HI i am 32 and am still doing theses same things i seen a doctor but they do not know what the cause is i am trying to find out a cure any suggestions.
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Avatar_m_tn
HI i am 32 and have the following symptoms in my sleep I jerk, punch and kick out, shout,swear,get up through things around, bang my head and grind my teeth. I have been doing this since i was a kid doctors have not heard of this it stuffs up relationships and i am sick off it can some one please help me.
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Avatar_f_tn
Can someone help me out here I am so scared that there is something wrong with my 3 year old son,he is jerking,jumping,hitting his self in his sleep,when he wakes up he runs as fast as he can to my room and screams a monster in my room,can someone please help me cope with this.
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Hi. Do you live in California? I Have heard of cases in the 2valleys that I have lived and am concerned in regards to my son. Very similar reactions and so basically what I want to know is - do you just ask your doctor for the lyme disease test? Do you get funny looks when asked? Is there a better facility to go to that wont judge- I am just a mother very concerned- not crazy. I lived in Gilroy CA where there was an issue of the disease and now live deeper  in centrL California so I am dealing with trying to find out if one- that issue and 2- allergy issues. Please advise  Thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
I feel so sorry for u. May Allah bless her and increase ur patience ameen. Try homeopathic medicines. My son has ts disorder and thanx to Allah he is now much better. Showed alot progress. I live in australia but my doctor is in pakistan. If u r interested i can give u all the details. My email address is ***@****  my son had probs when he was four and now he is five. Ive seen great progress. This treatment might be slow but is effective. When she takes her medicine read "ya qawi " alot times. It means the must strong one. Name of Allah. Inshallah ull fine the differece and she will go to sleep.
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Avatar_f_tn
Your son sounds exactly like mine.  Mine is 4 and experiences the same thing.   No one seems to know what is wrong with him. they say they aren't seizures but it goes on ALL night long...sometimes just the jerks but other times he will sit straight up in bed then lay back down.  yawn REAL loud and big. toss and turn from side to side....his behavior is so defiant.  he can be sooooooo loving and the next minute stabbing his sister with a pencil.....I continue to research but nothing.....
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