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Thread: will coprolalia come and go?

  1. #1

    Default will coprolalia come and go?

    This is Yoshimom, new to the forum. My husband and I and our 9 yr. old son reside in Ontario. My son first started to have motor tics at 5 and vocal at 7. They were not too bothering nor harmful so we could still live a normal life, took him to trips, near or far. It is very sad to see his vocal tics progress to coprolalia which started this past Christmas. Now at Easter, he is yelling and swearing very loudly everywhere, no matter at home or at public places. Fortunate enough, he has a very supporting group of classmates and teachers who understand and accept his condition, cause he can supress a little at school (but I don't know for how long they can tolerate it). However, it's very difficult for us and it's extremely exhausting for him too. Will he just keep screaming and yelling and swearing till he's an adult ???

    With our experience, Spring is the worst time for his tics, and this year is the worst of all. I want to ask anyone who has or had coprolalia symptoms to share their experience with us, please.

    Also, I read Jason Chong's mail praising TSFC has Chinese translations about Tourette. I would appreciate if someone could direct me to obtain Tourette info. in Chinese too, please.

    Thank you so much.


  2. #2

    Default will coprolalia come and go?

    Hi Yoshimom,

    Welcome to the TSFC forum, we are happy that you found us.

    There is Tourette Syndrome support groups in Ontario for resources in your community.

    We have a section called Vocal Tics which discusses coprolalia which like other tics waxes and wanes.

    The Chinese Translations are here on the TSFC Questions and Answer page and press Q&A in Chinese as Acrobat pdf or press html in MingLiU font.

    Have you discussed with his doctor your concerns with his vocal tics?

    Is he on any medication to help with his tics?

    Keep us informed so that we can help. Steph

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    St. John's NL

    Default will coprolalia come and go?

    Hi Yoshimom

    Steph gave you all the links for really good information. There are members who participate here who will be able to share their experiences. I do not have the personal experience but from what I know these symptoms also wax and wane like other tics. I know some people have been successful with manipulating their call-outs. Ex if they call out F** then they have manipulated it to sound like Fah! so that the F-sound is still expressed. Do you think you would be able to help him figure out what need is being satified when he calls out his words?

    I hope you will make this a place to visit regularly.
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default will coprolalia come and go?

    Welcome to the TSFC forum!

    I am glad you found us and you have been provided some good information.

    In connection to the question, my son did not experience this until he was 11 and more frequently once he was 12.
    In his case stress or anxiety tends to play a big role in it and how long it will last.

    Often if he is removed from the location where it starts it can improve but other times it just keeps rolling...

    My son has learned to whisper in a deep and low voice and this has helped. By lowering his voice and thrusting his neck and chin forward he seems to get the release he needs and then whispers or growls the word or words.

    Redirecting takes time and maturity to master but if you have a Doctor that will help you then you can be referred for assistance.

    Have you contacted your local chapter and considered an in service program for teaching staff or students? This resource may give you and the teaching staff more tools to manage.

    To answer your question about how long can it last, that depends on the individual. It appears in our case that through puberty we are seeing more tics but not all of them stay with him for long periods of time.

    You will find once you read others posts that seasons can make a difference in the tic cycles for others too. I am not sure why this is the case and I am not certain if it is directly related to a specific stage of development. It just seems to be a noticeable consistency for some people.

    Spring is always worse for us but then my son also has seasonal allergies and has to take prescriptions to relieve the condition during this time of year with his regular medications for TS+.

    Please keep us posted on your progress and I hope you spend some time reading other posts related to your questions and respond or ask questions.

    Take care,

  5. #5

    Default will coprolalia come and go?

    You have already received some really great advise from the other people who have responded to you, hope it helps.

    With regard to the corolalia, I know of people for whom it is constant, while others have it wax and wane, so it is very difficult to predict.

    Janet has already pointed out how some people slightly modify the word so it becomes more socially acceptable. This takes practice on the part of the person with coprolalia, not constant reminders from others. I have also known of one Mom who taught her son to use sign language to himself to express his frustration rather than blurt out the words. In another case the child substituted Latin for the English "bad words". Finding something that works and is a fit for the child is usually the key.
    Good luck and let us know how you are making out.

  6. #6

    Default will coprolalia come and go?

    Hello everybody who have sent me replies,

    Thank you so much for all your support. I really needed that. I was typing a reply last night and my screen went blank when I hit submit and everything I typed was gone. :x

    Yes, I have been reading a lot of others postings and try to get more info. or comfort may be. I'll continue to look into more help, the in-service program for school is one that I will look into. He's in a private school and they are open and supportive.

    I try the words substitution technique with my son and it wouldn't work. He is not just saying 1 or 2 words but yelling and shouting out 4 to 5 words non stop one after another. I tried asking him to say "apple" instead of "axxhxxx", "fah" other then "fxxx" "shoot" as oppose to "sxxx" and I'm "silly" instead of I'm "sexy". "darn u" then "damn u" . How could he possible be able to switch to other words if he could not be able to control what he's going to say anyway!? It is really our hardest time now.

    Anyway, he has just started to take 0.025 mg of Clonidine on 4/16 and will increase gradually to 0.01 mg on the 4th week. Dr. said it may or may not help him and it will take 2 months to kick in. He wil be seen by a neurologist on 4/27. We'll see what he can help. Meanwhile, we'll just have to pray and wait for him to slow down when the weather settles a bit.

    Will talk more about his history and present next time to keep everyone posted and thanks again.


  7. #7

    Default will coprolalia come and go?

    Hi Yoshimom,

    Clonidine has been discussed on the TS forum before and this is the link for it.

    We are happy to provide any kind of support that will help you and your family.

    Contact the TS Head Office for information on a school in-service.

    Could he say the words in Chinese instead of English? Maybe that could help.

    Let us know how the doctor's visit goes and remember we are always here to listen. Steph

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default will coprolalia come and go?


    Redirecting or replacing some words with others takes time and maturity for most. Both are great tools since the child knows the words are bad and saying them makes them feel bad about themselves afterward. Or at least this is the case for my son.

    Be patient and address the in service program.
    We did it when my son would not be there so he would not feel singled out.
    It was such a success the staff was required to attend their own during a PA day.

    Try recognizing the triggers, if any that help set him off. Reducing the triggers in his atmosphere or stresses will make a difference for him. I found it happens more at home then school and I am assuming it is because it is a "safe place".

    I keep close tabs via email with the principal and teachers involved and they have seen this behavior once so far in school. The principal handled it very well and he felt much better, but the upset can cause him to be exhausted afterward when it is bad. Other tics can surface for a couple days before improving.

    The med's you mentioned you should read up on so you can monitor any reactions or side effects while the dose is slowly built up into his system and then increased. Let the school know too and they will watch him.

    My son was once on Clonidine and like any med keep your Doctor informed of any concerns or questions. It sounds like he is trying to help you and understands your son. This is a wonderful support in itself for your family.

    Take care and keep us posted. Please feel free to ask any question here and continue other discussions. That is how we all learn together.


  9. #9

    Default will coprolalia come and go?

    I agree with PJK, substituting can take YEARS of practice.

    I'm sorry to respond so late, but I wanted to say "Hi!" and Welcome!

  10. #10

    Default will coprolalia come and go?

    Quote Originally Posted by yoshimom
    I tried asking him to say "apple" instead of "axxhxxx", "fah" other then "fxxx" "shoot" as oppose to "sxxx" and I'm "silly" instead of I'm "sexy". "darn u" then "damn u" . How could he possible be able to switch to other words if he could not be able to control what he's going to say anyway!?
    Practice. It's not easy to re-direct vocal tics. In my experience, they're always more impulsive and have less warning than most motor tics.

    I've gone through the same thing (although I'm 22). Changing the word doesn't work for me. The problem with true coprolalia is that you're compulsively saying something that's socially unappropriate. While it's triggered by a neurological cause, there is a certain psychological component to it (as in, coprolalia tics begin as something inappropriate). Coprolalia's always tricky like that. (From what I've seen) if you swear a lot normally, you're less likely to swear with corpolalia tics. If you're particularly religious, you might find yourself wanting to shout blasphemy. Now, some people's tics evolve quickly to be more about the sound than the word, so switching it works.

    For me, I don't change the words but I cram them together and mumble them as much as possible. They're virtually incomprehensible. My boss at work was actually suprised when I explained that I had been suffering from coprolalia, since she'd only ever heard me say thing like "yesnoydfuggaswhashuyt".

    If you weren't previously aware of what exactly I was saying, you wouldn't be able to figure out what I was saying without a particularly keen ear.

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