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Sensitivity and Impulse control

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  • Sensitivity and Impulse control

    So I'm really going to try to find the right words here so bear with me if this post seems all over the place.

    We are 2 months into noticing my son's tics and even though we have quite a while until it is the year point where he would be diagnosed with TS he is on the cusp of being diagnosed with ADHD and possibly OCD. After doing so much research on what I see going on with my son I keep coming back to the same "sensitivity" and "impulse" type talk.

    I have seen odd sensitivities in him most of his life starting with him being collicky as an infant, not wanting to touch grass or mud when he started walking, getting very startled by loud noises and recently throwing all out fits if the sun is in his eyes, the water is too warm in the shower (even though his younger brother can be in the same temp) and when he gets hurt (even if it is very mild).

    Some of this I never thought twice about as he was my first child and I remember being very sensitive and impulsive as a child as well (I still am at times). But through this research it seems that there may be ties to all of this and TS/ADHD/OCD.

    I guess I am looking for a final answer about why he (and possibly me) would be like this. My brother was also diagnosed with ADHD and showed quite a bit of impulsivity as well so I can see how everything could very well be genetically linked but just wonder if there should or (in the future) could be just one diagnosis that covers the broad spectrum of symptoms he has been showing.

    If anyone has anything (feelings, understanding, or any research articles that they have come by) it would be greatly appreciated if you could share this with me.

    Mother of 2 boys - 8 year old with TS+

  • #2
    Re: Sensitivity and Impulse control

    How old is your son and what does your son's doctor say about this?
    TouretteLinks Forum


    • #3
      Originally posted by Steve View Post
      How old is your son and what does your son's doctor say about this?
      He is 7 and the psychologist doesn't really give me many answers except that he will have a diagnosis of ADHD and can also see some OCD. I don't feel that I ever have enough time to explain everything to him and am also quite disappointed right now with how nonchalant and lazy he seems about all of this. I understand how he sees this stuff everyday but this is my son and when he started having tics it was like he became a completely different child (some of it I put off as just behavioral before but the tics started out pretty big). So basically I have no idea what he thinks about all of it.
      Mother of 2 boys - 8 year old with TS+


      • #4
        Re: Sensitivity and Impulse control

        Hi Davispenn,

        Sensory issues are common with TS and TS+ (which is TS + OCD and/or ADHD).
        Sometimes "problem behaviour" can have its root in a sensory issue.

        Some sensory problems can be treated.
        There are some pediatric occupational therapists who are trained to help patients with sensory overreactivity.
        They can suggest accomodations to help the situation.
        Ignorning sensory issues can increas the child's frustration and cause problems that could be avoided.

        For example, if your son gets
        very startled by loud noises
        He may have problems at school when his class transitions to a different location like the gym or cafeteria.
        Some sample accomodations would be to allow him to leave the classroom a few minutes beofre the loud noises and movement of transition congestion occur in the hallway.
        If he's getting teased, embarrassed or touched by other students in these situations, he might need an adult to be in close proximity when his class is in busy areas.

        The key is to get these symptoms treated as neurology and not behaviour, and to make your son aware of the difference.
        When the school treats the symptoms as neuroligical, your son will be able to perform better at school.
        A big hurdle that parents face is obtaining a letter from a doctor to support these accomodations in the classroom.
        One thing you can do as a parent to help the process is to start a log of all the different symptoms.
        How they are being dealt with, and your child's reaction as a result.
        You can highlight the symptoms that are causing the most difficulty in the classroom and most need accomodation.
        Then you have something on paper for your doctor to draw from when you ask for the letter.

        Impulsivity is one of the hallmarks of ADHD.

        There are some really great suggestions for reducing the effects of sensitivity issues and impulsivity in these books:

        Understanding Tourette Syndrome: A Handbook for Educators
        This is published by the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada and is available from our web-site

        Challenging Kids, Challenged Teachers
        by Leslie E. Packer and Sheryl K. Pruitt.

        Tigers, Too
        by Marilyn P. Dornbush and Sheryl K. Pruitt.

        These latter two books can be ordered through most bookstores, but I might suggest Parentbooks who specialize in these kind of books and might have something more specific to your needs.
        I've referred to Tigers, Too and Understanding Tourette Syndrome: A Handbook for Families in writing this response.

        Good luck, Tina
        Last edited by Tina; November 17, 2011, 11:38 AM.
        Tina, Forum Moderator, TSFC Staff Liaison

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