Tics in 6 Year Old

Updated on July 11, 2012
S.B. asks from Menlo Park, CA
7 answers


My son has a tendancy to develop tics that go away. We ignore them and try not to freak out and they just run their course. They started at 3y with stuttering, then went to eye twitching and now nose twiching. The episodes come on quickly and leave in a few months if that long. I think this time around it might be to a dry nasal passage so I began using nasal spray to help as he indiacted that his nose was dry....but I'm never quite sure! Anyway, I'm going to call the peditrican tomorrow but I thought I would reach out to the mama world for real answers that will most likely talk me off the ledge! They always get me on edge. But it seems to be a reocurring thing so maybe I have a different conversation with his peditrician?

Please send me your experience with this.....much much appreciated!


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So What Happened?

I'm responding from my iPad, so I can't send flowers :( I hope they fix this issue!) Anyway, thank you for responding to my question. I will speak with his peditrician today and I do think it's related to allergies. Funny thing......my neighbor is the one who founded PANDAS! I'll speak with her on the tics as she hasn't experienced them yet with my son and he goes over there to play a lot...she has only seen his "mis-treated" allergies! ....very intersting. And that's why I LOVE this sight! Thank you!


More Answers



answers from Lexington on

First and foremost, you need to be very relaxed about them. I understand the getting you on edge thing. That was the way my husband was until he understood they are just tics. The child cannot help it. Sure, they can expend much energy partially suppressing them for a while, which is something my younger daughter did at school - but at what cost? And at least the one place a child should be able to freely do it is at home. It is not like they WANT to, and it is bad enough that the kids at school tend to mock the tics.

By the way, have you ever heard of intestinal issues plus dairy possibly contributing to the tics? That happened with my daughter's cousin. Her tics were directly related to dairy. Well... similar genes. I wish I'd found out sooner my own kids can't have dairy either. Anyway, this post has interesting links: http://itsnotmental.blogspot.com/2011/08/brain-health-cut...

I know whenever my child's allergies in general were worse, so were her tics.

And then there is the possibility of strep (look up PANDAS). A friend's child kept getting extreme exacerbation of tics every time he got strep, but I don't know why he repeatedly got strep infections. In any case, it is something to look into.

And there isn't much a regular doctor can do about tics - most of which are considered transient motor tics which is common in childhood. Even with the diagnosis of Tourette syndrome (which is what my younger daughter was diagnosed with), if the tics are mild, they may be better off left unmedicated because the medications carry some severe risk factors of their own. At least, that is what my younger daughter chose when offered antipsychotic medication to help suppress the tics. However, if the tics are severe and life-disrupting or painful, etc, there ARE medications they can try.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

I would read about PANDAS (or PANS as it beginning to be called) . . . relates to a latent strep infection.

It may not be that but it's something to consider.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

A friend of mine has a son who is like this as well. His started our with eye blinking constantly. Then it went on to something with his nose. Then he started making a weird noise in his throat (he said he was scratching his throat). And the last one was a small noise that sounded a little like a puppy whimpering. With her son, it was all related to allergies. A new medication seems to have stopped the puppy noise and he hasn't moved on since.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

My DS started getting them around 5 I mentioned them to his Ped but she mentioned a Pediatric Neurologist. I was not about to spend that kind of money on MRI's and such for tics. There is nothing they can do about them anyway and they usually go away on their own. I had them as a kid too. He also has complex tics (Google it) and has palilalia. Now at 8.5 they have extremely diminished.

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answers from Missoula on

Since it's reoccurring, I would DEFINITELY get them checked by a doctor. It could be simple irritation, or a muscle spasm as his body changes and grows... or it could be something more. You won't know for sure unless a doctor checks him out... Better safe than sorry! In any case, the more info you have, the more peace of mind. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi I recently posted the same question! My daughter is 6 and I began noticing around 3yo, told her ped who said it was nothing and she finally agreed this year to have her sent to a ped neurologist. My daughters tic was usually shaking her hands/arms when shes excited and changed to now kind of "wiggling" when she walks. I just had her seen at Loma Linda and the ped neurologist spent a ton of time with her as did the resident. They said she has complex motor tics and that they usually go away or get less noticable as they age. I am looking into OT and neurofeedback right now for her but the dr. said not to get my hopes up because this type of therapy isnt always effective. My daughters are very noticable and people ask about it and we get stares and all that. The dr. did say something interesting, he said he had tics as a child and that they are common in intelligent people :). After reading again what you wrote I think it could just be an allergy thing and he might not even have tics!
To christi lee: Yes! When I brought it up to the ped and neuro I said she was "stimming". I seen the you tube videos and read a ton on autism. I kept bringing this up to the ped and the neuro specialist and they said absolutely not. It really, really surprised me because I did so much research on stimming and flapping.

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answers from Columbia on

I had some tics when I was that age (eye, nose). My older son also has a vocal tic. We both have ADD and are very high-functioning.

I no longer have tics. They go away with age. BUT, if your son is taking any kind of medication, it's worth talking to your ped about to make sure that his dosage isn't too high.

To the person below who mentioned her daughter shaking her hands/arms, that is a very common mannerism in kids "on the spectrum." Kids who have some level of autism/asperger's. They call it "hand flapping." You can find lots of examples on YouTube. You might consider having her evaluated.

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