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Are your tics suggestive?

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  • Are your tics suggestive?

    What I mean by this is, if you see it somewhere or hear about it, are you more likely to have it as a tic? My 9 yr old son tells me his tics are often triggered by something he hears or sees, almost like an idea or thought (compulsion) that gets stuck in his mind that is hard to get out of it.

    For example, he had a vocal tic last summer, and it went away in September....stayed away until January and then he overheard someone in the family talking about his summer tic, and boom, it came back the next day. He says that he had forgotten about it until he heard us mention it, and the reminder of it got stuck in his brain and caused it to come back.

    Last year we were at Disney, and his sister had a brief nervous neck tic when was meeting the Princesses (hers only seem to last during moments of major excitement or fear and then go away as soon as the situation calms down). He noticed her doing this, and the very next day, he developed the exact same tic and it last 3 weeks.

    Perhaps this would explain why a coughing tic would develop immediately after he genuinely gets over having a cold that caused him to cough a lot?
    Perhaps this is why his tics tend to slow down dramatically, or go away for months at a time when we don't point them out or mention them to him at all?
    Last edited by Steve; February 6, 2012, 05:22 PM. Reason: reformat for easier reading

  • #2
    Re: Are your tics suggestive?


    My son has also described this phenomenon. He doesn't like when I talk about his tics because he then can't stop thinking about it and the tic re-appears. Usually it seems fairly short-lived.

    Also, if you ever have the opportunity to go to the National Tourette Conference, you can see a virtual "choir" in action. I remember one conference in particular. There were individuals from about 7 to 45 years of age with Tourette in a hallway and one person would experience a vocal tic and then you would hear a ripple of similar or responding tics. It seems like some of the individuals will experience new tics after exposure to other individuals with Tourette but, as per many of the individuals, their tics can change regularly anyway.

    I hope that this helps.



    • #3
      Re: Are your tics suggestive?

      Hi Jenny,

      I love "tic choirs" when they occur at our National Conferences.
      In particular, with the youth program It's Your Move, we take the youth off-site on a bus.
      The bus ride is pretty quiet going out to our camp location, but on the way back, the tics go up and down the bus.
      The bus is also filled with a lot of laughter and joy.
      The conferences are like "tic holidays" for all of our members with TS.
      They can tic when and how they want to.

      Hi AnnC,
      As you have observed, tics can triggered by something else.
      Reinforce your key strategy of not pointing out the tics or mentioning them to him with other family members, especially if his tics reoccur upon suggestion.

      The tic that your son developed at Disney sounds like Echopraxia (imitating gestures or movements of other people).
      This is a bit harder to control as you don't know what will be a trigger to him.

      Good luck!
      Tina, Forum Moderator, TSFC Staff Liaison

      TSFC Homepage
      TSFC Membership


      • #4
        Re: Are your tics suggestive?

        This thread (post) brought a smile to my face


        • #5
          Re: Are your tics suggestive?

          We just went to the neuro today and when I was telling the Dr. about my son's vocal tic he did the tic immediately and hasn't stopped that vocal tic since we got home. He had gotten over that tic and it came right back with the mention of it. He will probably do that tic for a couple of days. I have noticed him doing this before. If we mention the tic he does it.