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Tourette Syndrome Community
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Avatar universal

Is this tourettes or something else?

Hi there.

My 5 year old son has many things going on, so here's a list I compiled to take to show my GP. He's been referred to a paediatrician but the appointment is a month away. Do you think it could be TD or OCD or something else? Any opinions welcome, thanks.


1. Sleeping
He hardly sleeps, often not going to sleep until midnight or later then up for school next morning. (he has always been a bad sleeper since birth)
2. Licking things.
He licks everything, walls, doors, my sleeves, his hands, the ground, the settee, just about anything and everything. I asked him why he did it and he said, "I don't want to do it but my brain makes me do it". He got quite upset.
3. Tongue poking. He pokes his tongue out at random moments, even when mid converation.
4. Hair. He hates anyone touching his hair and gets very upset when they do. I then have to stroke his hair until he feels comfortable.
5. Touching things. He has to touch things as he goes past them, sometimes in town he will walk back to touch something like a sign or a window that he feels the need to touch.
6. Biting things. He bites the table and chairs.
7. Putting things in his mouth.
8. Talks constantly and asks questions that you have to answer in a correct way. Only Tom seems to know the correct way.
9. Stroking away hurts or if he's touched something he didn't want to touch ie brushing past a chair arm. He kicks up a great fuss and asks me to stroke it better. This varies each time, but he asks me stroke things better upwards of a hundred times a day.It has to be stroked until it feels right to him.
10. Grimacing. Not as common as the licking, but present.
11. Clearing his throat. He does this a lot.
12. Getting dressed/undressed. He has to have this done by me and not my husband. If he starts to get him undressed I have to put the clothes back on and then take them off for him. If I don't do this he will tantrum and cry hysterically for hours.
13. Controlling. When he was younger he would never say Please or Thankyou and always said he would say them when he started school. He once went almost a whole day without a drink as I'd insisted he say please first. The very day he started school he started saying please and thankyou. He also did the same re going to the toilet for a poo.
14. Repetetive touching. He frequently touches his nose and his shoulders. He taps each shoulder in turn.
15. Temper. He has a terrible temper and shouts and screams a lot.


21st April. More stuff.
The shoulder tapping has stopped.
The grunting has become far more noticeable, especially when he's eating.
He has started to lick his palms. He holds up both hands in front of his face and licks them quickly.
He taps his nose with both his hands. He asked me to hold something the other day as he just had do this touching thing.As soon as he'd done the touching (very quick) he wanted his toy back.
He dips his head and licks his collar. He also chews it a lot.
Remembered something from a while back. After being a really good talker he started to put a hard G sound or NG sound
at the end of certain words, ie mumG.
He also had a stammer at one point, for which I took him to speech therapy (only one session to evaluate him). His stammer was repeating the first word of a sentence, like mum mum mum mum mum mum mum mum can I have....?
He's pretty obsessive at times about walking in certain patterns, following lines, standing on cracks etc. Recently has taken to walking backwards a lot too.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
I highly doubt it's tourettes. After some reading, it seems like autism, but I'm not completely sure. Just mostly. Directly from Wikipedia:

    * Stereotypy is apparently purposeless movement, such as hand flapping, making sounds, head rolling, or body rocking.
    * Compulsive behavior is intended and appears to follow rules, such as arranging objects in a certain way.
    * Sameness is resistance to change; for example, insisting that the furniture not be moved or refusing to be interrupted.
    * Ritualistic behavior involves the performance of daily activities the same way each time, such as an unvarying menu or dressing ritual. This is closely associated with sameness and an independent validation has suggested combining the two factors.[29]
    * Restricted behavior is limited in focus, interest, or activity, such as preoccupation with a single television program or toy.
    * Self-injury includes movements that injure or can injure the person, such as biting oneself. A 2007 study reported that self-injury at some point affected about 30% of children with ASD.[21]

Direct Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism#Repetitive_behavior

Best of luck.
Avatar universal
I would have your son evaluated by a neurologist.  There are many secondary conditions that go along with Tourette Syndrome that are often more difficult to deal with than the tics themselves, like ADHD, ODD (Oppositional defiant disorder), sleeping problems, anxiety disorders, OCD, and even some sensory problems.  I only know this because my 6 year old daughter has all of them.  Her neurologist said some people with TS suffer only from the tics while others have a multitude of issues that impair their daily life.  Only a neurologist would be able to tell you for sure.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your replies :)

I have an appointment for him to be seen by a paediatrician next month, so I'm hoping that I'll have some answers to his odd behaviours soon.

Djmorello, it's because of all those comorbid disorders that go along with tourette's that made me wonder if that is indeed what he's suffering from. I've been googling manyof his symptoms and tourette's does seem to come up rather a lot. Also, his behaviours change all the time, his licking has recently eased off (but not totally gone) and has been replaced by whistling. I know that changing tics is part of tourettes.

Stimpack_addict,I  do think he has some compulsive behaviour, but he doesn't seem to fit the autistic label very well apart from that (my nephew has autism and Tom is nothing at all like him), but I do also know that the autistic spectrum is huge! To be honest, it's not so much that I want a label for him just that I want to know how best to help him.

Anyway you two, huge thanks for taking the time to look into this for me. t's very much appreciated x
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