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  • Hello Everyone!

    My ten year old son has just been diagnosed with ts and his doctor advised me to search this site. I myself am unsure about the diagnosis as he does not seem to "fit in" to all that is discribed with ts. He only has tics when he is playing video games or watching certain shows. I have never witnessed him having any "tics" in public. He does not have any ocd symptomes and is not aggressive with no temper tantrums as a lot of people discribe. His teacher has actually discribed him as better behaved than the typical 10 year old. He is extreamly shy and has extreme social anxioty. My biggest question at the moment; is it possible to have tics only at limited times like playing on the computer?


  • #2
    Re: Hello Everyone!

    Welcome to the TSFC Forum, Miesse and thank you for joining us.. We appreciate your doctor's confidence and support of our Forum.

    How long has your son been expressing symptoms that led your doctor to his diagnosis? What form are your son's vocal tics and does he express them during his gaming and computer work?

    I have never witnessed him having any "tics" in public. He does not have any ocd symptomes and is not aggressive with no temper tantrums as a lot of people discribe.
    There are a few possibilities.

    There is no "one size fits all" picture of Tourette Syndrome, and the so-called associated or "co-morbid" conditions like OCD and/or ADD do not necessarily afflict everyone diagnosed with Tourette.

    Another possibility could be the symptoms of associated disorders may not be severe enough to impair his ability to function and are so mild that are not noticed. It would certainly be worth keeping an eye on, and reporting any difficulties your son might have to his doctor for evaluation.

    As for tic expressions in public, it could be that your son has learned to temporarily suppress his tics while in the presence of others. This is not at all unusual for people with Tourette, where many learn on their own to recognize the premonitory urge to tic, (the physical sensation that precedes a tic..much like what people in the general population might sense just before sneezing or needing to scratch an itch) and they either suppress the tic or redirect the tic to do something that is less noticeable.

    Tics cannot be suppressed indefinitely, because the energy build up from suppression needs to be released at some point, but is is a useful strategy for some people with Tourette in social or work related situations.

    The technique of tic suppression and redirection is actually taught as a form of therapy for young people with Tourette by specially trained therapists and is called Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention for Tics or CBIT for short.

    If you search for CBIT on our Forum, you can read about this currently effective and popular method of helping young people deal with their Tourette symptoms.

    It's a long way to get to your question:

    is it possible to have tics only at limited times like playing on the computer?
    If your son has been suppressing at school, out in public and in the presence of other people, then I could see that when he is at home at his computer, in his safe place that he would voluntarily refrain from suppressing, and release his tic energy at home.

    Everyone with Tourette needs a safe place where they can feel comfortable to express their tics without interference or admonition.

    Yes, it is possible. Does his tic expression cause any problem for any family members at home?
    TouretteLinks Forum


    • #3
      Re: Hello Everyone!

      Thank you for the response Steve.
      My son has had symptoms for about 3 years but they were always discounted by his doctor as being his way of getting rid of excited energy. We started seeing his current doctor almost a year ago and this is the doctor that diagnosed him with tourettes. His vocal tics are like grunts but not quite. Hard to explain them exactly right. Also he does repeat words that are said to him or he will say a couple of times in a row, as if he is trying to make sure he understands but that is not when he is playing his games so I'm not sure if that would be associated with the ts.
      My son is also diagnosed with with mild pdd-nos so we thought alot of his tics were because of that. We never thought that it could be two different things.
      His tics don't cause any problems with family members, he has never broken anything he just jumps up and down and shakes his hand behind his back and makes this weird but quiet sort of grunting noise while playing his computer games. I just worry of others seeing him in this way and teasing him but as I said I have never witnessed him doing this in public.
      I greatly apperciate the advise and explanation and will be searching cbit shortly

      Thank you again.