32 answers

Tics in a 9 Year Old

My beautiful 9 year old daughter started developing tics last spring. She clears her throat obsessively, grimaces and rolls her shoulders. Her 'gestures' rotate. Early on I firmly asked her to stop what I thought were behaviors. It took a couple of months for me to realize these were uncontrollable for her. She is just starting to make comments like, 'I hope my tics stop before Middle School'. Otherwise she has seemed unaffected. She's very popular, to the point of friends copying some of her gestures, just because they think she's cool, I guess. Not in a teasing way. I haven't heard anyone has been teasing her.
She also dances ballet at a fairly advanced level. This is breaking my heart, she's so wonderful, but I fear she'll be limited by this soon.
Any ideas or help?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I've made an appointment with our pediatritian next week. I have talked with the doctor about the tics before and she seems unconcerned. I will push to have a neurological evaluation to rule out any other causes.
I have had my daughter use nutritional supplements, amino acid supplements and take a meditation class.
Interestingly, as we were visiting my mom last weekend, she suggested a simple Homeopathic remedy, Calms. I've given my daughter a tablet 3 times a day and she says she feels much better. Her tics are substantially less too.

So, that's what's happening currently, but I want to offer my deep gratitude for all your responses, thoughts and support,.
People shared about their own experiences, gave recommendations and expressed empathy.
This is an amazing forum and I am appreciative of everyone's ideas.

Featured Answers

Hi E.,

I have a friend that used to have tics really bad growing up. He now sleeps on magnets and wears them in his shoes along with good clean water and wholefood supplements. He has found that giving his body what it needs helps to keep him balanced.

If you would like more info email me and I can send you more info.

Have a great evening.

N. Marie
____@____.com

Hello E.. A friend of mine has a son in High School, he went through the same sort of tics all through elementary school and on to middle school. To make a very long story short, they found out that it was a form of terets (don't know spelling) but they were able to get him medication. Some of the tics went away completely and some of them mellowed out to almost being un-noticeable. Hopefully this helps you a little, but just an idea. Good luck!

More Answers

I agree with Mary, it sounds like Tourette's. I have a VERY good friend who has exactly the same symptoms (she told me they are very common in girls, boys have different tics). What I can tell you is that she AND her husband AND her son (yes, son and dad have it too) all lead normal lives. My friend told me that the tics are irritating and sometimes painful if too repeatative but can be controlled with medication.
You say your child is adopted, it may be worthwhile to see if there is any history of the birth parents.
I do think you should talk to a doctor. Good luck and let us know what happens. =)

It is time to talk to the doctor to see what can be done. What you are describing sounds like Tourette's (I'm not super sure of the spelling). Do some on-line research on the syndrome as that hopefully will be helpful and enlightening. Wish I had more to offer you. My son has an occassional mild tic from ADD meds. We took him off the meds, but the tic still shows up here and there. I do know that stress can make tics worse. Best wishes.

Hi E. -

You need to take her and have her assessed immediately by a neuropsychologist -- if you are in the Bay Area, I recommend either Stanford Psych or Children's Health Council. These are involuntary responses and she has NO CONTROL over them -- please stop asking her to stop -- this will only make her more anxious and cause more of the behavior.

Kids tic for all sorts of reasons, but often the underlying issue is anxiety. This will not go away on its own -- it will likely get worse if untreated.

Best of luck,

J.

Have her checked for seizures!!!
There are different types...
If she should have any... I recommend the KETOGENIC DIET (drug free treatment)

Love, G.. :0)
http://stemcellforautism.blogspot.com/

"I know of nobody who is purely Autistic or purely neurotypical. Even God had some Autistic moments, which is why the planets all spin." ~ Jerry Newport

Hello E.. A friend of mine has a son in High School, he went through the same sort of tics all through elementary school and on to middle school. To make a very long story short, they found out that it was a form of terets (don't know spelling) but they were able to get him medication. Some of the tics went away completely and some of them mellowed out to almost being un-noticeable. Hopefully this helps you a little, but just an idea. Good luck!

Have you had her checked by the doctor? Some medical conditions, like Tourrett's Syndrome have tics as a symptom. I would talk to her doctor and consider a 2nd opinion if you are concerned about it. My heart goes out to you and your daughter, I hope you find a solution for her.

E.,

While I don't think a diagnosis for your daughter is the most important thing, I would like this opportunity to share what I learned after my husband was diagnosed with an OCD Spectrum Disorder in 2002. Talking to someone about her stressors is an excellent starting point if her tics become a bigger part of her life.

Anxiety in anyone can be alleviated by a number of things. We may tap our foot, count to ten in our heads, walk around the block before a job interview, write in our journals...the list is endless. After my husband was diagnosed with OCD, I learned that it is a spectrum disorder, and that some people's stress alleviating activities have a bigger impact on their daily lives. Think running back into the house to get the hall light (even though it is already off) versus not leaving the house until every light switch has been turned off and on six times.

Medication in my opinion should come after behaviorial modification therapy. When behaviors are not yet having a impact on her life, it is easier to talk about them and help her come up with more typical coping mechanisms. Because OCD is less a chemical imbalance than a behaviorial issue, it is one of the only ones that can be worked out with behavioral therapy alone. Medication can be avoided sometimes, or at least end up the best med at the optimum dosage.

I hope this helps, but all in all, she sounds like a wonderful girl and the advice to leave well enough alone is perhaps the most valuable of all.

Gilly

Sounds like a mild form of tourettes syndrom. My husband has it and was not diagnoesed until his college years. Like you his parents (without knowing what he had) tried to stop the "behaviors" with no success.

Talk with your pediatrician and see if you can get referred to a neurologist. The best ones in Sacramento area are at UC Davis Mind Center.

Good luck!

P.

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