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Thread: New tic - scared mom

  1. #1

    Default New tic - scared mom

    Hi!
    I have a 8 yr son who has developed a facial tic, with his eyes (looks like he's making faces or rolling his eyes) occasionally his whole head twiches. I have been researching on the internet and am confused and scared by what I've read. I was initially convinced he had allergies and that's what was causing his recurrent blinking. The blinking started about 6 weeks ago and coincided with a 8 day febrile illness that the dr's could not diagnose, (they never tested him for strep) things got better for a bit and than he went away for 2 days and came home with the tic... I'm trying to find out how fast this usually comes on. We have a optometrist appt this week and a dr's appt too (we have no pediatricians or neurlogist in our town). We saw one dr and he thought the tic could be from sun damage to his eyes... I am scared and worried but can't find info on the beginning stages of tic disorders only all the problems and concerns after a TS diagnosis.....we may need that info in the future but right now I'm wondering about the types of tics and how long before I should expect a new one to start.. its been about 4 weeks since this eye tic started... if anyone knows a web site that might give me some insight I would really appreciate it.

    thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,886

    Default new tic - scared mom

    Welcome to the TSFC Forum. Hope we can point you toward some answers.

    As you mentioned a febrile illness in a reference to strep, I'll point you to some information on PANDAS

    "PANDAS" is an acronym for "Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections."

    Click HERE for an overview on PANDAS and then HERE for some further links.

    How far away is the closest paedeatric health facility where you son can be evaluated?

    Your son needs to be diagnosed by a competent specialist familiar with tic disorders in order to rule out various causes for your son's tics.

    To assist you in your understanding Tourette Syndrome, here are the Diagnostic Criteria

    A) Both multiple motor and one or more vocal tics have been present at some time during the illness, although not necessarily concurrently.

    B) The tics occur many times a day (usually in bouts) nearly every day or intermittently throughout a period of more than 1 year, and during this period there was never a tic-free period of more than 3 consecutive months.

    C) The onset is before age 18.

    D) The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g. stimulants) or a general medical condition (e.g. Huntington's disease or post-viral encephalitis).

    [size=9px]Source for Diagnostic Criteria: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fourth Edition (DSM-IV - Text Revision), published by the American Psychiatric Association, Washington D.C., 2000, the main diagnostic reference of Mental Health professionals in the United States of America and Canada.[/size]

    Please keep us posted on the reports from the physicians whom your son will be seeing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    557

    Default new tic - scared mom

    The blinking started about 6 weeks ago
    About 10% of the population has tic disorders, and the vast majority of them are transient tic disorders that show up in childhood, are around for awhile and then disappear.

    Though the majority of people with TS report that eye blinking is one of the first tics they had, this is also a very common tic in all the tic disorders.

    There is no minimum or maximum time between when 'the first tic' shows up and other tics appear. Studies of the course of tics show that simple motor tics are usually the first to develop. Vocal tics develop later.

    As Steve's message states, TS is only diagnosed if both motor and vocal tics are present and the tics have been present for over a year.
    Cathy
    Forum Moderator
    TSFC Homepage

  4. #4

    Default new tic - scared mom

    thanks Steve and Cathy for your info.

    I guess I've been really upset because the eye blinking started 6 weeks ago and with in 2 weeks seemed to change into a different twitch, one where his eyes roll and I can actually see what looks like nerves jumoing in his forehead. Very much like he is making faces and rolling his eyes. Occasionally within the last week his whole head jerks slightly while he is doing the other twich, but the constant blinking had stopped. He does this almost constantly, all day long, but not in his sleep. If he concentrates on something, reading on playing games it is really really bad....

    Just trying to make some sense of this, I live in a really small town about 2and a half hours from Toronto which I believe is the closest ped. neuro but will they even see us before the tics have been happening for a year...

    thanks again for the info

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St. John's NL
    Posts
    1,147

    Default new tic - scared mom

    Hi there

    welcome to our bb. you can certainly start the process and get a referral to the neurologist based on what you have you observed so far. start journaling all your concern because the apointment could have a long wait time. the more uou have documened around conerns with his behavior the better it will be for you when the appointment time arrives... it will be a record of your child's history. there are several tests that they may require just to rule other conditions out. there is no medical test for Tourette so the more documentation you have the better.

    hope this helps and feel free to post any questions or concerns you have. there are many people on this forum who live with TS everyday as well as many parents who have children who happen to live with TS.

    stay connected with us and you may want to visit some of the posts made in the thread for parents to see what others have shared about their children.
    Janet, mom of 4

    TSFC Homepage


    "Intelligence is always increasing; accommodation allows your intelligence to do what it has always done." Cassie Green, Washington College

  6. #6

    Default new tic - scared mom

    I have one more question regarding hereditary trait. If I know 100% that there has never been any tic disorder or Tourettes in either side of our family all the way back to great grandparents, does that mean there is no chance that my sons tic will become Tourettes??

  7. #7

    Default new tic - scared mom

    Unfortunately, no, it's not that clear. Tourette's could come from higher up, or develop on its own further down the line.

    There are no known cases of Tourette's syndrome in my family in previous generations -- but both my brother and I have it.
    Colin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    557

    Default new tic - scared mom

    Not having a tic disorder in the family does not mean that TS will be completely ruled out. Certainly the majority of people who are diagnosed with TS will have someone in the family with some sort of tic disorder, however, the disorder could be very mild and/or never diagnosed -- for example a small tic around the eyes that was thought to be caused by squinting in the sun, or someone who had a transient tic as a child that they forgot about.

    Most doctors also look for other neurological disorders such as ADHD, OCD, etc. when taking a family history.

    There are also other tic disorders other than TS. TS is the least common and the most complex of the tic disorders. The other tic disorders are described here.

    You were asking whether a pediatric neurologist would even see your child before a year is up. Yes, they will. There are other explanations for tics other than TS and your child would need to be assessed in order to rule out other causes. A neurologist can assess your child before the symptoms have been showing for a year since he will not be screening for TS only.

    As Janet said, it will be easier to provide the information the doctor will be looking for if you make note of the types of tics your child is having and the frequency of them. You don't need to record this every day, but record what you are seeing now, and then if you notice changes in the types of tics, or their frequency, make note of the date and the changes you have observed. This will help the doctor determine what is going on with your child.
    Cathy
    Forum Moderator
    TSFC Homepage

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St. John's NL
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    1,147

    Default new tic - scared mom

    Hi there

    When my oldest was diagnosed, he was the first ever to be diagnosed in our family. From his diagnosis came mine. This was the case due to the fact that there was no awareness in my family of this disorder. The tics I had as a child were mild and were described as bad habits... The storms I had as a child were explained away as being "touchy" ie sensitive... I was described as "she cries over everything, or she is always crying!" With the education I now have on Tourette and the associated bevaviors, I now can see that others in my family have displayed mild symptoms over the years as well. (I was one of six kids growing up)

    As Cathy said, they will look at other neurologies in families when taking your family history. There have been cases where Tourette has resulted from the cummulation of neurologies ie an ADHD dad and a High anxiety mom produce a child with TS plus.

    Just keep track of your concerns and share as much information as possible when you see your doctor.
    Janet, mom of 4

    TSFC Homepage


    "Intelligence is always increasing; accommodation allows your intelligence to do what it has always done." Cassie Green, Washington College

  10. #10

    Default new tic - scared mom

    hi !
    We saw our family dr today and he is going to refer us to a pediatriciann and an allergist..( just in case allergies are causing our tics???)
    are F.D. said this tic soes not look like anything he's seen before, and hinks we need to see a neurologist asap, but.......... we must see a pediatrician first and than they refer us, the family dr can not..... this kind of stuff is very frustrating!


    I find that my sons tic gets worse when he is watching tv or reading, or playing video games, but nearly subsides while riding his bike or playing with his friends?? Isn't it usually the other way around??

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