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Friend for 9 yr old son, live near Oshawa, ON

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  • Friend for 9 yr old son, live near Oshawa, ON

    My son Aaron is 9 and has been having tics for over a year or two. During parent/teacher interview in September, the teacher told me that Aaron was blurting things out in class. I was very surprised... my son is very well behaved (at school anyway), and the teacher said when she would look at him after an outburst, he looked mortified. They had many discussions about it and she said it was almost like he couldn't help himself. This prompted me to look up Tourette's. Tourette's... that was my son. I thought he just had tics, period (my brother had funny little tics during his teen years, assumed it was normal). I was not overly concerned until the interview. I have done some research and am currently waiting to see a specialist for a formal diagnoses. I know after researching, doing checklist etc. that my son has tourettes, his most recent tic, a cough, repeatedly, does not stop unless he is sleeping or very involved in a physical activity. I am very concerned that his tics will increase or become more and more prominent. Aaron already has low self esteem and I am afraid that if his tics worsen, I will lose him. Most people who meet Aaron would never know he has Tourette's, thankfully. I would love to find a friend for Aaron that he can relate to and share stories with, even if by email alone. I have only recently told Aaron that he most likely has Tourette's, this came with some relief to him I think, as it explains a lot. I believe he also has signs of OCD and ADHD. My dreams for him is that his symptoms remain mild, my fear is that they wont.

  • #2
    Re: Friend for 9 yr old son, live near Oshawa, ON

    Hi Aaron's mom!

    Unfortunately the TSFC does not currently have a chapter in Oshawa. There is a contact rep in Peterborough which is one avenue you could explore. There are also support group meetings in Toronto which is another avenue to consider.

    By connecting with others and planning to attend some TSFC social events that either Peterborough or Toronto are putting on your son will have a chance to meet others like him.

    This September the National conference will be in Niagara Falls. You can find a link along with the contact information for the National office below. My now 13 year old son attended the conference in Edmonton last year and is very keen to go to Niagara this year. It is a bit of an expense for us since we need to travel from Edmonton to attend, however the benefits my son receives are well worth the expense.

    There really is no other place except a TSFC event where our children can be who they really are and not worry about it. Not only do they spent an entire weekend socializing with kids their age who have TS they will also get the opportunity to attend workshops as well as meet very successful adult role models who just happen to have TS. The conference is an experience for your child that can not be duplicated anywhere else.

    National Office
    Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada
    #206, 194 Jarvis Street
    Toronto, Ontario
    Canada M5B 2B7

    Telephone: (416) 861-8398
    Toll Free: 1-800-361-3120
    Facsimile: (416) 861-2472


    • #3
      Re: Friend for 9 yr old son, live near Oshawa, ON

      I would love to find a friend for Aaron that he can relate to and share stories with, even if by email alone.
      Despite your best intentions, allow me to caution you about applying for a friend, correspondent or even a pen-pal on any internet site, including sites that appear to be well intentioned.

      The sad but real concern about making such requests online is that child predators are constantly on the lookout for this type of request. They will pose as the type of person you describe as the friend for your child in order to establish a rapport, with potentially serious outcomes.

      The TSFC has taken the precautionary step to prohibit requests for pen pals on the Forum for this reason.

      As Patti suggests, your best option is to attend the National Conference in Niagara Falls, if a Chapter meeting is not convenient, thereby ensuring a safe environment for Aaron to make new friends.
      TouretteLinks Forum


      • #4
        Re: Friend for 9 yr old son, live near Oshawa, ON

        I would never allow my child to interact or meet someone without my meeting or talking to them first. If by email, I would monitor the discussions closely as my son does not have his own email address and would have to use mine for exactly the type of reason you specified.


        • #5
          Re: Friend for 9 yr old son, live near Oshawa, ON

          hi, I had the same feelings when I first found out he had tics. That they would not increase, that was my dream for him as well. My son is 11 going into grade 6. His are almost not noticable, but he has a grunt. But you just get use to it others as well. Finding out what he had was also a relief to my son and also when he went to Glen Hospital for couple months of school, he was so glad he would meet people like him....And he did, in fact it made him feel better about himself, but also made him see that maybe he was not as bad as some of them there. They really help him want to accept that this is ok and the information we learn was unreplaceable. I wish you the best there is lots to learn and this site has really helped me understand his world. from Alberta


          • #6
            Re: Friend for 9 yr old son, live near Oshawa, ON

            Hi Aaron's mom,
            Your situation with your son sounds a lot like mine with my son Jacob, who is 11 and has TS, OCD and mild ADHD. I worry about his self esteem too, but I am surprised to see that even as his tics have gotten worse over this past year, his self image has not. His psychologist says it seems like Jacob has incorporated tics into his "persona" and just accepts it. In fact, he comes to me now and says mom you should see the new tic I have - it is so funny! When J was diagnosed with TS, I showed him a website with pics of famous people who had TS or OCD which he thought was cool. We were also able to tell him about our numerous family members (including dad) who had tics as kids (albeit milder than Jacob). I think that all this has helped. Not that life is easy, but for Jacob, his challenges come with the OCD mainly. You said Aaron had signs of OCD - have you had a diagnosis yet?: There is really good therapy for OCD which has helped Jacob a lot. Good luck!
            Last edited by kristin; July 27, 2007, 11:34 PM.


            • #7
              Re: Friend for 9 yr old son, live near Oshawa, ON

              Hello Mom of Aaron!
              I know the feelings that you and Aaron are having right now! We have two children with TS and the "plus" component.

              You may want to check out Camp Winston. They hold a residential camp for kids with TS during the summer. They also conduct weekend activities throughout the year. Our son attended the residential camp in July and absolutely loved it!! They are on the internet. You should check them out. I also agree with the other respondents: Check out the TFSC symposium in September in Niagara Falls.
              You know, it's not all doom and gloom. Your son is still "Aaron" with a special something extra. As with myself, your job will be to educate yourself and Aaron and advocate on his behalf. With knowledge comes enlightenment. I really believe that!!


              • #8
                Re: Friend for 9 yr old son, live near Oshawa, ON

                Hello Aaron's Mom!

                Glad you found us.

                The more you learn about TS the better you can provide answers to the specialist. May I suggest keeping a journal including mood swings, activities of the day and anything that might be considered a trigger. This would also include sleep patterns and tics.
                Narrowing down the triggers can help better understand the TS if applicable and give the specialist a better direction to go with his own process of diagnosing.
                The more you know the better you feel. The response Aaron gave you is common. Everyone wants to know why they are experiencing something that does not feel right or is just different then others around them.

                Try finding things Aaron excels in to boost that self esteem. Spend some one on one with him trying new things.

                I hope you are able to do some reading on the forum and use the search function for specific topics of concern or interest. If you are stressing or worried Aaron will pick up on this feeling and respond with more anxiety and tics. You both will accept in different ways & time frames.

                During this process he is going to look for a grounding point to provide reassurance. It is natural to be worried but the more you know about TS or TS+ the better you will feel and he will be able to relax more.

                In the early stages I found responses or information on this forum and selectively printed it so that my son would understand he is not alone and life is really alright.

                At one stage his tics worsen to point of hitting all the spectrum's and now you could hardly tell he has it. Tics wax & wane, you will see differences with development and hormone changes. You have to learn to be confident and allow the roller coaster effect to just happen.

                I hope you can spend some time reading, posting and opening your own topics on the forum.

                In regards to a friend via email I would suggest using our teen section and some topics to help build the self esteem and reassurance. I would not suggest opening yourself up to meet new friends on the net via email buddy's unless there is a relationship already at school. As a parent I have learned this can be a risky approach and is to unstable to offer assistance for boosting self esteem issues.

                Please keep us posted on your progress and I look forward to your participation.


                • #9
                  Re: Friend for 9 yr old son, live near Oshawa, ON

                  well I am always available to chat with now like steve said there are predators but janet will vouch for me now you said your son is 11 I am a bit older I am 15 but like I said there are people who will vouch for me

                  also you can go ahead and monitor any conversation at all it would not bug me. my e-mail is I also have tourettes I my self have made a friend on this forum


                  • #10
                    Re: Friend for 9 yr old son, live near Oshawa, ON

                    I live in Pickering and my son is 11. He is seen at the Shoniker Clinic at
                    Centennary Hospital. There is a doctor there that specializes in Tourettes. There is a whole support system there. My son attended a social skills group which was a step towards developing the skills he needed to learn to succeed at school, survive all that he deals with daily. There has been specific tourettes groups in the past but not lately. I believe the catchment area is all of Durham if you haven't yet found the support you need. If you would like more information let me know.


                    • #11
                      Re: Friend for 9 yr old son, live near Oshawa, ON

                      Welcome to the site, Aaron's mom. I understand what both you and your son are going through. I know what it's like to be very young and have to go through school with tourettes. For me, I didn't know I had it at all and got really upset when my tics got bad. I was under the impression that my tics were just habbits, but I really wanted to stop. For me, I didn't know that I had tourettes until I was 14 going on 15. People here will give you great advice on how you as a parent can help your son with his tourettes and tips on how he can handle it himself. As they said, be weary of who you allow to talk to your son. Personally, I think it's a great idea to let him talk to others who have TS and can help guide him. Just be sure (as you said before) to monitor the conversations that he has with them.

                      It's unfortunate that even over the internet you have to watch what is being said because of the sick people, but it's better safe than sorry. It looks to me like someone replied back that is willing to talk to your son and relate to him. I have no problems talking with him to help give him some guidance with his TS as well. I've had it for 15 years and went through 1st-12th grade living with it, so I would say I'm pretty experienced in what to expect from teachers and classmates. I could also talk to him about ways to remain positive about his TS. I am alot older than your son (19 to be exact), so it won't hurt my feelings if you would prefer someone slightly younger and around his age for him to talk to. Just letting you know that I am here if you need someone to help. You can contact me at

                      Welcome to the forum!


                      • #12
                        Re: Friend for 9 yr old son, live near Oshawa, ON

                        Hi there,
                        My name is Danielle Turpin, I am the contact rep in Peterborough.

                        I have ts and so does my 9 yr old son Ethan. Ethan has gone through some trying times, howver I would like to tell you that it is not all bad, what has really worked for us, is to try to turn all of this into a postiive. He speaks obout his ts and we have organized a fundraiser in Peterborough. We feel that by doing this, being as open as we can about it, he is learning several things. 1 he can help others with this disorder as well he can help people understand it. He has also learned throughout this that so many people are effected with something, that we are all unique in our own way and this has given him a better understanding of other peoples special needs and differences, and has (in some cases) made him feel pretty lucky.
                        Finding out that your child has t.s. is not the most pleasant news, but I want to assure you that it can get better. Knowledge is power, And you and your son are not alone. There is alot of support and information on this forum and through the tsfc. Especially the conferences. I hope things are going well with you and your family and if you are ever in Peterborough come look me up. Ethan would love to chat with Aaron.