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Informing Children

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  • Informing Children


    I believe that my son has TS. So we took him to the ped and she was not nice to us and ignored his ticcs. This was a mistake on my part because I thought she would help him.

    This summer I am hoping that my son will meet other children with TS in St. John's therefore, I have to tell him that he might have TS.

    I don't want to make another mistake. Therefore, how do I tell my child that he has this?

    How did you tell your child, husband, wife, or family?

    I want to do this right because this will probably be a moment that he will remember the rest of his life. Steph

  • #2
    Informing Children


    When I told my son, he had been told by a Doctor he had TS but did not understand what exactly TS is.

    I kept it simple and asked him if he knew what TS was then I referred to things that he did or tic's that he has, like you know when you feel or do this? Well thats TS, there is nothing wrong with it and I've seen how it frustrates you sometimes but its alright that it happens.

    If he asked why does it happen, I explained that it was a crossed signal coming from his brain, like if he raised his arm, a part of his brain told him too but with TS you can do something or say something you did not even ask your brain to do but it happens anyway and this causes frustration.

    Two factors play a big role in explaining...

    First it is alright to have TS though it can be a real pain sometimes.
    Second - the child is not alone, since a lot of kids have TS.

    Keep it simple and relate to him. Depending on the age keep it short and direct. Sit down and colour or do a project while you talk and if he wants to tell you how he feels and interrupts you let him to keep the dialog going so he will feel more comfortable.

    Lastly, there are little steps that can be taken individually to help manage or channel the TS and with some understanding and maturity it falls into place naturally. I've seen a big difference in my son over the past six months.

    Now if an adult starts asking why he is doing something, I just look at them and say Tic. They hush and he is not embarrassed. The school understands and has been very supportive. With the TS in service program he even has girls paying a bit of attention to him.

    Once my son understood TS better, some of the frustration went away, so no more outbursts in class and he is calmer and happier with himself.

    The most recent cough tic has been difficult for him but less noticeable at school, more when he is on the computer. He is also yipping now while watching TV...
    He became frustrated with the cough and all I had to say, "oh thats just a tic" lets see what we can do to make it better...since it is bugging you.

    Hope what I said helps...I am sure there a many parents that will respond to your request.


    • #3
      Informing Children

      Thanks PJK,

      I am so nervous about it. I will probably tell him next weekend, I am not trying to put it off but I am so afraid I will make a mistake.

      I have to put the best spin possible on this so that he looks at it in the best possible way.

      There is only one person where I live that has TS however, they have not expressed any interest in getting together.

      I have had pretty bad things happen to me and I have not been as nervous as this. Steph


      • #4
        Informing Children

        Hi Steph

        I too believe you need to apply the KISS approach... keep it simple sweetie

        The most effective way to talk to kids is to bring it to their level of understanding. If you take a very conversational approach you can get started with asking some open ended questions and that will give you insight on his self-awareness.

        When my 8 year old was jumping I told him to stop jumping on the furniture and jump on the floor but I didn't tell him I thought it was TS. When I knew it was TS I started calling his jumping his "jumping tic" Then when I talked to him about TS I asked him if he knew how often he jumped? I asked if he knew why he jumped so much? I asked him when he thought he jumped? When I discussed his storms I asked him questions about why he thought he was upset and if he thought he tell me how he felt. He still can not speak to what it is like to have TS like my oldest can but he certainly will tell you he has TS and he tells me and his teacher when he feels the tics coming on. He is becoming more aware everyday and with age and maturity this will come.

        this link may help with trying to put things into perspective for your son. I use a lot of analogies everyday with work as well as with in-servicing. People of all ages tend to relate better.( the story about the boy named Ben is online and when I get the link I'll attach it. It is a really cool little story)

        Steph trust your self and you will not be making a mistake. the most important thing is that your son comes out of the conversation knowing that he is not alone, that TS is not contagious, that it is not life threatening and that you are there for him to answer any questions.

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