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Does this sound like TS or Aspergers. ??

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  • Does this sound like TS or Aspergers. ??

    Hi please give me your thoughts. I'm so confused. My 14 year old son at age 7 would start jumping up and down flapping his hands during video game play. Then for the next 2-3 years various motor tics and a few vocal tics came and went always changing. By age 12 I don't see the tics anymore but I know he goes to the privacy of his room, and flaps his hands , snaps his fingers and jumps sometimes. 3 doctors, 3 opinions. None committing to any diagnosis, because they didn't "see the tics" I did manage to videotape (without his knowledge) the behavior of jumping,snapping and flapping of fingers and hands. The third doctor said it "may be " Ts. He has been assessed with adhd-inattentive type, and a specific learning disability. He now struggles in school(applied courses) when back in grade 4 he was tested for the gifted programme. Anyone have any thoughts?

  • #2
    Does this sound like TS or Aspergers. ??

    Welcome to the TSFC Forum Maria!

    Are the physicians who saw your son specialists with expertise and training in Tourette Syndrome or was he see by a pediatrician or family physician?

    As you know, Tourette is diagnosed through observation and interview with the patient and parent.

    Does you son feel safe and comfortable to express his tics in front of you and the family? Why do you suppose he needs to retreat to the privacy of his room in order to tic?

    Are you aware of a local Tourette Support group in your area?

    For info on Asperger Syndrome click here

    For info an overview of Tourette, click here
    Steve

    Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

    Tourette Canada Homepage
    If you enjoy the TC Forum, please consider a Tourette Canada membership
    Please visit our sister Forum: Psychlinks Psychology and Mental Health Support Forum

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    • #3
      Does this sound like TS or Aspergers. ??

      Hi Steve, First dr. was a pediatrician, he did some kind of brain scan(for seizures?)That came back ok. He said he'll outgrow whatever he was going through- school problems, not taking responsibility for actions. Second was a psychiatrist, who after 40minutes, and looking at the psycologist report with adhd assessment in it-said my son has a tic disorder(not ts) and wrote out a rx for concerta. Third Dr. who saw videorecording of behavior said it May be Ts. My son does not do these behaviors anylonger in front of anyone-He would deny it -He's been made fun of . I should say he was seeing a youth councillor for his anger last year, but stopped after a few sessions, because he refused to participate in the anger management package she was trying with him. So his file was closed, because he refused any help. Well I just found out last week that his councillor had written "possible aspergers" in that file. Of course she is not qualified to diagnose, but if she saw something there, I think I should have been told Last year. Anyway my son is now going to see a fourth dr.-phychiatrist- in December.But im not optimistic cause David(my son) may not be open to everything thats going on with him.Meanwhile my family has to deal with his verbal abuse,and occasional rages. Do you know of any drs. in the Barrie area who deal with this? And yes my husband and I have been to a few ts meetings,as we have a membership.

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      • #4
        Does this sound like TS or Aspergers. ??

        Hi Maria, and welcome to our forum. I have been officially diagnosed with both Asperger and Tourette Syndromes last year and know the differences and similarities of AS and TS first hand.

        Unfortunately, there is nobody in Barrie you could (or would even want to) go to. I advise you to have your son referred to the Tourette Clinic at Western General Hospital in Toronto. They diagnose both TS and AS (at least AS in kids up to 18, I had to get my AS diagnosis elsewhere, but was diagnosed with TS there).

        You son sounds a lot more like AS than TS. Absolutely EVERYBODY with AS has some tics. Hand flapping is an autistic stim, not a tic. Also, many people with AS are misdiagnosed with all kinds of things, including ADHD, tic disorder, schizoid personality disorder and many others.

        Your son sounds like he has rages when he is overwhelmed (called sensory overload), it happens to me, too, if I don't remove myself from certain situations soon enough.

        I will be in Barrie on Monday and could meet with you if that would help. I'll PM you with my phone number and private e-mail address.

        Ursula
        German citizen, married to a Canadian for 28 years, four daughters, one son, eight grandchildren (and one on the way).

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        • #5
          Does this sound like TS or Aspergers. ??

          Hi There

          Welcome to our BB. I have 4 sons and two have Tourette, so far! I was diagnosed through their diagnosis. My 7 yr old son started jumping up and down and occasionally add the flapping of his hands during video game play when he was 6. Then it transfered to watching TV or when we went to a movie or when he first got up in the morning. This type of tic can be a very complex tic because there are so many muscle groups involved. For the last year he has a few motor and a few vocal tics. By age 12 ( my oldest who also has Ts is almost 14) kids are becoming more aware of themselves and how they are different from their peers. So there is that risk that they may try to suppress as much as possible when in company especially their peers. Doctors who are not trained or don't have a definite interest in TS are often not willing to commit to any diagnosis, because they didn't "see the tics" and they don't have the experience in that area. It can be a very negative experience to get mis-diagnosed and then have to go back and try to remove the diagnosis so that you can attach another.

          My boys struggle with adhd-inattentive for my 7 yr old and add the hyperactivity for my 13 yr old. My 7 yr old is struggling academically but the testing has not yet been done to determine a a specific learning disability. Have a conversation with him and you would think he is above average intelligence... My older son did not and still does not struggle academically. When back in grade 5 he was tested and was reading at a grade 8 level and is really gifted when it come to math.

          You can see how two boys from the same genetic pool can have two very different experiences. There are things that are common among all the associated disorders that makes it so confusing for doctors to diagnose. You really need to seek out a center as the one on TO that Uschi referred you to to get a clear diagnosis.

          I think it is great that you have already partnered with the local TSFC chapter for support. There is so much information on this BB that you may find interesting. Surf the various topic threads under the forum heading and pop in with a question or comment on anything that catches your eye or that you can relate to. Looking forward to your continued participation and i hope you'll keep us posted on how things develop.
          Janet

          TSFC Homepage

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          • #6
            Does this sound like TS or Aspergers. ??

            Thank you for the responses. I have 2 more questions, so bare with me . When hand flapping is mentioned does it necessarily mean the hand movement is up and down, as if a small child were pretending to be a bird. Or can it also be swift horizonal movements as if shaking water off one's hand. Sorry if it sounds like a silly question. Also what does a "specific learning disability" mean? Does that cover a number of various learning disabilities or what? I know from reading a few articles, non verbal learning disability and aspergers show very similar traits.

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            • #7
              Does this sound like TS or Aspergers. ??

              I have limited knowledge about Autism and Asperger's so to compare movements common to these syndromes is out of my scope. I know from my son the hands have done both. I have seen the up and down flap as well as the flicking (as in shaking water off your hands). If really excited he will straighten his arms above his head and he looks a little stiffer than norm.

              These syndromes are know as Learning disabilities because they can impede learning. Many children will have accommodations made in the classroom to help them ie strategies that are used and supports such as a laptop for written output, etc. but there is no need for change in the academic outcome or one-on-one support to get the information to the child. For our 7 year old, there needs to be testing because he is young and is struggling with retaining the basic of reading ie sounds of a letter, recalling what a letter looks like, the spelling of simple, common words like : "it, him, hit, big, etc" that most children will get as they learn to read. Dysgraphia is quite common for people with these disorders too, so that is something that needs to be investigated. There could be a specific learning disability coming into play that is in addition to the TS itself. Testing has to be done because we don't know what we are dealing with so we cannot support him with strategies or accommodations till we figure it out.

              I'm not claiming to be an expert and my experience comes from working through our personal experiences and reading as well as speaking to others who have walked in my shoes.

              He has been assessed with adhd-inattentive type, and a specific learning disability
              When you stated that your son was diagnosed with a learning disability, what is it that was diagnosed?
              Janet

              TSFC Homepage

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              • #8
                Does this sound like TS or Aspergers. ??

                Maria, the hand flapping can be just an up and down motion, but with me, more often than not, I twist my hands very fast (a horizontal motion, like shaking water off my hands, that's a good analogy), sometimes at the same time as doing the up and down motion as well (it depends on how excited or agitated I am).

                A specific learning disability I have is dyscalculia (its like dyslexia, except with numbers instead letters). Bot dyslexia and dyscalculia are present more often in kids with AS than the general population. Also, in both TS and AS you will inevitably have some obsessive compulsive elements to varying degrees. So, AS is often misdiagnosed as OCD as well. But of course, obsessive behaviours are typical of AS, and often these behaviours differ greatly from what people with OCD would usually obsess on.

                And by the way, no question you may have is silly! If you wonder about it, here is the place to ask.
                German citizen, married to a Canadian for 28 years, four daughters, one son, eight grandchildren (and one on the way).

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                • #9
                  Does this sound like TS or Aspergers. ??

                  Maria:

                  Another note to consider. TS can be misdiagnosed as Asperger's in some cases. It takes a good eye and most importantly a professional that really knows what they are doing.

                  My son was considered to have Asperger's at one time but he has not social problems meeting or talking to people. He actually has TS with loads of tics including the wrist spinning and hand flapping.

                  Keep notes before seeing someone and take care for now.
                  PJK

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                  • #10
                    Does this sound like TS or Aspergers. ??

                    I have to say that so many symptoms overlap it is overwhelming. Like I said we've seen 3 drs. (2 pediatricians, and 1 psychiatrist) and have had 3 opinions. My son has an appt. in Dec. with another psychiatrist, and we'll take it from there. I will go with my gut feeling as far as trusting what the dr. says. My son does have a lot of aspergers symptoms. He's had problems with interpersonal activities. He does have friends though. But he is very difficult to get along with. And I notice when we're talking he often seems stiff , and I'd have to say his voice seems monotone.Also can be very senstive to noise around him, even though he doesn't realize when he's shouting!-at least he won't admit he's shouting. I don't know, sometimes when you're so close to a situation I wonder how objective you are. Anyway thanks everybody for your input, this forum is great, and I'm glad I found it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Does this sound like TS or Aspergers. ??

                      Maria, the shouting is a problem with voice modulation, and I have it, too. I always say that my volume control is broken. When I am talking (especially about something I'm passionate about) I appear to be talking louder and louder without having any idea I am doing that, and I don't feel like I am shouting at all until somebody complains that I am shouting! So, your son really isn't shouting, it just seems that way to others around him. He thinks he is speaking normally, and so of course he won't admit to shouting!

                      So, the way to go about it is, to explain to him that his volume appears to be going up without him noticing it, and he sounds like he is shouting. You might want to agree on a signal that lets him know he is getting very loud, so he can pause and consciously start talking quietly again (which may not last long, I know), so he doesn't feel like he is being attacked for no reason at all.

                      I am also very sensitive to noises around me, despite the fact that people say I am shouting! I am also often told that I sound angry, when I am not angry at all. My expression often doesn't match my feelings. For instance, when I am concentrating on something, I apparently look like I am 'scowling' and in a bad mood. But my facial expression is naturally serious, and I only smile when I know people expect it, but it doesn't come naturally at all, even if I am feeling perfectly content inside.

                      Your son likely has friends who share some of his special interests, because he has no use for people who don't. But if they won't follow his rules, he'll get upset (correct me if I am wrong).

                      And a monotone voice is typical for AS (which is one of the symptoms I don't have), and also a stiff, pedantic way of speaking. One of my younger brothers sounds like that, and it drives me nuts (he obviously has AS as well).
                      German citizen, married to a Canadian for 28 years, four daughters, one son, eight grandchildren (and one on the way).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Does this sound like TS or Aspergers. ??

                        I work with kids on the Autism spectrum, but unfortunately don't have much direct experience with Aspergers. My understanding of it though is that they may have one or more topics that fascinate them to a degree most of us cannot comprehend. They may want to discuss it frequently even when others around them are uninterested to this degree. They may also struggle socially, but not always. Sometimes a few closer friends are a great fit for them. They may miss social cues that seem obvious to us though.

                        From what I've been reading about TS, explosive anger/rage isn't that uncommon, especially in someone who is trying to minimize tics for a period of time. If your son doesn't want people to see him having tics and he suppresses them, then this can result in them being expressed later in a more forceful display. Maybe someone with more knowledge can comment on this.

                        Voice modulation, including volume, breathing rate, rhythm, etc can all be part of tics/TS. So although they may be present in AS too, it doesn't have to mean that it's only AS. Also lack of inflection could be AS, but not necissarily. I know a few "typical" people who do that as well. It's less common, but could be unrelated to AS.

                        Again, these are just things I have read and heard and I could be incorrect. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

                        Somebody mentioned being very sensitive to sounds. This is actually a new area of study called sensory intergration. Occupational therapists are usually the best people to consult about this, but there are some great books for those who seem over or under responsive to stimuli. One of the most popular (and easy to find) books is The-Out-Of-Sync-Child. There is another which I think is a whole program called How Does Your Engine Run? Many kids....not just those with a specific diagnosis have sensory issues.....we just don't always notice. For example, some of my coworkers and I were talking about when we were kids all the funny quirks we had. Some had to have the blankets wrapped tightly around them in order to sleep, I couldn't stand the stitching at the toe of my socks, and had to wear them inside out. Others only wanted loose fitting clothes, or their eyes are very sensitive to light. Many children hate the tags in clothes too. Many people grow out of these things, or at least come to be able to deal with them, but sensory intergration is really just being discovered.

                        Anyway, enough from me....lol. Good luck with your appointment in Dec.

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