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Worried About Now & Later

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  • Worried About Now & Later

    I found out my son had TS and ADHD over a year ago. Up until now he has had only minor symptoms of TS. Two days ago he started saying two inappropriate words. At first I thought he was just misbehaving. As I observed him more, I realized that he was saying these words continuously with no apparent control. I have spoke to him and asked him to try to stop. Is that the right thing to do???

    I am so worried about the future for him - I am scared that this will become worse. The school system is difficult enough to deal with without him swearing in class.

    My son is 7.

    I am looking for some suggestions on how to explain this to him and if I should point out the tic to him and ask him to try to stop.

  • #2
    Re: Worried About Now & Later

    Welcome to the Forum Annie

    I know this can be hard but you cant ask him to stop that. Vocal tics are just like motor tics you cannot control them and you cant just stop them. The best thing for him would probably bring this up with his Dr. I dont know if he is already on medicine but they may be able to put him on something to help with that.

    I was diagnosed with TS at 7 and i didnt really understand it much but if he understands it you can also talk to him, but the best thing would point that out to his Dr. Unfortunally there is no easy way to stop the tics but his Dr. may be able to help get them under control.

    The swearing is something rare that come with Tourettes its called coprolalia. Talking to his Dr would probaly be the best thing as there is really no other way to stop it.

    Hope everything works out good. Hope to hear from you soon

    Take Care



    • #3
      Re: Worried About Now & Later

      You can't ask him to stop and expect results, but you can help him redirect the tic. A useful technique for many is to alter the word so that it still satisfies the urge without being an obvious obscenity. It takes practice, but tics can be changed. I can't really say how difficult this is at the age of seven, though.

      Educate the school, teachers and principal on Tourette's as much as possible. You may need to advocate for your son if they're not getting the picture. The TSFC offers various resources that can help, such as a handbook and resource kit for educators. You can also involve your doctor in speaking with the school.


      • #4
        Re: Worried About Now & Later

        Welcome Annie!

        Jessica and Colin are right. Asking someone to stop their tics will not make them go away. In fact the added stress of being asked to stop may even make them worse in some cases.

        I do agree with Colin that tics can be redirected. My son has coprolalia (uttering inappropriate words & phrases) and copraxia (inappropriate gestures) and he is somewhat successful in redirecting both tics.

        He is now 13 and as he gets older he is getting more and more successful at it. For the coprolalia he will either modify the word or write it down instead. For his giving the middle finger tic he has developed a complicated finger pattern that disguises the tic.

        Our approach has always been that tic or not some things are socially unacceptable. We have always helped him to find a way to release inappropriate tics in an appropriate manner. Never have we punished him when he is not able to redirect.

        I do not believe that any age is too young to start working on doing this. A Cognitive Behavior Therapist should be able to help your son with this. If that is a route you decide to go your doctor should be able to recommend someone.
        Last edited by mom2TSguy; April 25, 2007, 07:36 PM.


        • #5
          Re: Worried About Now & Later

          Hi Annie

          Glad you found us. You will find many people here to support you along this journey. It is normal to be scared when facing the unknown. I have found things easier to understand and accept by reading and learning as much as possible about TS and the associated disorders. The resources we have available from the TSFC are great especially the family handbook which explains all aspects of what you are dealing with.

          Please stay connected with us and we will do all we can to answer your questions.

          TSFC Homepage


          • #6
            Re: Worried About Now & Later

            Actually Cailean you're right...........your all right........tics can be somehow protrayed as a different motion such as a sniff could, if you put your hands up to your nose and tilt your head...could look like a sneeze....its all in how you fake it or hide it. The tics will never stop and they WILL change in time. Soon the swearing will go to maybe coughing or even barking....or it may never go back to anything vocal. I have never had medications and have I think every tic known to man or But please be patient with me...he hates it...but there's nothing he can do about it but LIVE with it....maybe hopefully someday we will all be rid of it......then watch I use to say to others....oh you think I'm good at this eh...imagine if I didn't have anything to distract me.