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Thread: trying to find the real face

  1. #1

    Default trying to find the real face

    my son's facial tic's are so frequent we cant tell 1/2 the time appropriate emotion. It doesnt help my son is also delayed so he doesnt process things at all well.. but my point is he REALLY smiling? REALLY frowning? he makes the most horrible faces...he will make a cross between a smile/grimace hold it for 2 seconds in the middle of babbling... and repeat it over and over... or his eyebrows shoot up while hes talking like hes questioning what youre saying sometimes thats easy to tell, when hes thinking or concentrating the tic in his face and his hand clench at the same time... it seems he likes to " hold" the tic in place for at least that delayed second to 3 seconds... but its so hard to tell ... when he gets into trouble the tics are more pronounced too and he does this smile thing where he bunches his up his entire face into a big weird fake smile and holds it.. but my husband swears hes just being beligerent... i said no LOOK... its not a " real smile" sigh... he has other tics as well.

    its so frustrating to talk to him... so hard to find the " real" emotion in his face. Like i said.. its not like i can just ask him.. hes so delayed hes functioning way below his age and never makes any sense.. so i am doing alot of guess work. any suggestions? Do you guys think these partictular tics will change or subside?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    St. John's NL

    Default trying to find the real face

    Do you guys think these partictular tics will change or subside?
    Hi Su

    It's difficult to predict how long this will continue, but you are probably more in tune with your son than anyone else. If he is so delayed that he barely makes sense do you think he is capable of being beligerent?

    Does he respond to closed ended questions ie ones that can only be answered with a yes or no response? Can you trust that a yes is a yes? If he can communicate this way then I would ignore the facial expressions and stay focused on what he is trying to tell you. Does other bady lanaguage help at all, such as playing with fav toys when happy vs other behaviors that tell you he is sad?
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default trying to find the real face


    The facial tics are probably related to the inner stress or anxiety he could be experiencing just trying to communicate with you.

    He maybe just as frustrated as you are. Janet makes a good point about yes or no responsive questions.

    Have you tried shortening your queries to see if he can respond with less facial tics?

    I used to see this overload in my son when he was much younger. Too much detail or long explanation of why he should not do something just got lost in the translation.

    I learned to say: ":We don't do "that", do you understand me?

    Then offer a proper action like "We take our plate to the kitchen counter"

    See...this is how we do it..

    My voice was always calm and relaxed, I never showed stress in front of him or frustration and it was a major help.

    Maybe once the two of you feel better about communicating the tics will subside enough for you to see the difference. Body language can be a good reader too so pay close attention to were his hands, shoulders, arms are while trying to communicate to you. Even the placement of his legs can make a difference.

    You probably wonder how I stayed relaxed? When I knew we had to go there, I stopped, counted to 10 to myself and breathed. Afterward, I always poured a glass of water or tea and walked away in ear shot and relaxed. It got to be so controlled I'd put the tea kettle on before approaching him to resolve an issue.

    I also reinforced good behavior or learned behavior verbally and with a calendar using words. I found the peg board in a dollar store. It offered words like "Helpful", "cautious", respectful, kind, creative, and more. As he earned the disks for the peg board he received positive reinforcement and then something special, like movie night or bowling or a toy he had been asking for. He always received something for his efforts each week depending on how many disks he earned in his behavior. I also asked him to place the disks on the peg right away when he did something good to enforce the behavior that was acceptable and accomplishment.

    Lots of hugs, lots of praise can go along way with a child like that.

    I hope this helps...and don't worry, I think you are reading him more clearly then you give credit. Be patient and try some suggestions it will improve for you.

    Keep us posted..

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