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Thread: blank stares

  1. #1

    Default blank stares

    Hi there my name is Sara. I have a 7 year old son who was diagnosed with Tourette Disorder, ADHD and OCD. When he was about 4 we noticed some blank Stares. Mason was sent for a cat scan, ecg, eeg and bloodwork. The only thing that was found were lesions on his brain. I was told that these lesions were comon and I should not worry. We did not worry about anything since as we have not seen much of these blank stares. Mason has head tics, throat clearing and the odd vocal tic, although pretty minor in the last year or so. I have notced these blank stares again in the last few weeks. His head cocks to the side and he looks off into space for about 10-15 seconds , then he just continues whatever he was doing. I have asked him about these stares and he knows that he is doing them, however cannot stop. He tells me that he just shakes it off. I have no idea what this could be? Any Ideas? I am a quite concerned.

    Sara
    Sara

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,939

    Default Re: blank stares

    Hello Sara and welcome to the TSFC Forum. Have you discussed your son's stares with the physician who diagnosed his Tourette and associated disorders?

    Has your son ever been evaluated by a neurologist with a professional interest in movement disorders, specifically Tourette, to interpret the significance of the lesions?

    Based on your observation, Sara, does his staring and your son's behaviours surrounding the staring appear to be another form of tic, but expressed as a stare?

    Looking for ward to your comments and the comments of others.


  3. #3

    Default Re: blank stares

    It was discussed when he was younger. Unfortunatly I had difficulty with doctors. I just could not get any answers. The lesions on his brain were first notices by ultrasound during my pregnancy. I was told their was no link to the blank stares. I concidered the posibility of it being a tic but I have never heard of a tic like it. He often cocks his head to the side and has a gulping type swallow but these blank stares are different. His head will drop to the side and he just freezes for 10 seconds or so then goes back to what he was doing. I have seen him do this several times a day. Mason is taking Strattera for his ADHD and has been on it for 1 year. It's like he is daydreaming or deep in thought. What do you think? Could it be a tick?

    We have not seen a neurologist, only a phyciatris and developmental pediatrician who specializes in kids with these types of issues.

    Sara
    Sara

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: blank stares

    Just wanted to say welcome from me too....... I am new to this site, but not to ADHD, OCD and TS.

    Hope you get some answers soon

    Jaxx (New Zealand)


  5. #5

    Default Re: blank stares

    Hi,
    I happened to be at the emergency room at the childrens hospital a few weeks ago. I was talking to a Mom whose daughter was exhibiting similar behaviour. Her daughter would, for only a few seconds at a time, 'go blank' - for lack of a better expression. She was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy. It may not be the case with your son but maybe it's a path you should consider looking at.


  6. #6

    Default Re: blank stares

    Hi again,

    Another possibility is a type of migraine. My older boy who has tourettes has migraines and I know thay can present themselves in different ways.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,939

    Default Re: blank stares

    Interesting thoughts, YumYum. All the better reason for this young man to be evaluated by a neurologist. Thanks for the input.

    BTW as I am one who experiences migraine like your son, you may be interested in this Forum posting

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    962

    Default Re: blank stares

    Yum Yum
    You made an interesting point.


    Sara

    Welcome to the TSFC forum and I am glad you found us.

    The tic you describe my son shares but without the blank stare. We did however see these stares when he was younger while being on a medication. It was like he zoned out for a 10 or 20 seconds and then came back to us.

    I would suggest that you discuss your concerns with your physician. Personally I am considered an advocate to other mom's and a screamer to the medical profession. I don't back down until I get the answers we need.

    My son is evaluated annually and any changes are always addressed quickly to rule out any concerns. It is easy to get lost in the system though.

    Possibly you could be referred to a pediatric neurologist and they could confirm if there is something to be concerned about. The fact that these stares have returned and have become more steady is a fact that should be addressed. Document or journalize our days and experiences so that when you get into the Doctor you have some notes to refer too.

    If your concerns worsen and you have to wait to see someone may I personally suggest you can always take him to a hospital ER that has the equipment necessary for testing during the day. Someone will help you and they will push the appointment you already have or are waiting for to an earlier date, especially if they find some answers for you.

    I hope you get some answers soon and please keep us posted on your findings.
    PJK

  9. #9

    Default Re: blank stares

    Hi there, Thank you for your help and Support. I have been to our Pediatrician and he is sending Mason for an EEG and a MRI to start. He told me that it could be a complex tic but need to rule out a type of stareing seizure. I have not seen any in a day or so but he has had a change in behaviour recently. He is much more moody and negative with some anger outbursts. We do not notice much in the way of tics but behaviour is worse. It's interesting because when he was diagnosed with Tourette's he displayed many motor and vocal tics but for the last year we have only seen very minor tics. Nothing that is very disruptive to him or others. He has a head and neck tic that never seems to go away. His head sort of rolls around as if his neck cannot support his head and at the same time he clears his throat. He will have this about 5-10 times a day. He has had vocal tics where he has snorted and hissed and had them every 20 seconds for several weeks. We have not seen any of this now for a year or more. If it wasn't for these head tics I would feel that he does not have Tourette's. His teachers have never seen any tics, I think they sometimes do not believe he even has tics! He is on Stattera and it has certainly helped and we have seen a reduction in tics since he started taking it. We have noticed that everything is much worse in the winter, I feel this is due to his activity level. The more active he is the less issues he has.

    I look forward to getting to know everyone!

    Sara
    Sara

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    962

    Default Re: blank stares


    Sara

    Sometimes tics show up more at home then in public since it is a safe place to let them out. Unfortunately by holding them in or trying to control them the frustration can surface too.

    The head & neck tic you describe is one my son has had in the past and other teens on this forum. It is not comfortable to experience and in our case caused some pain, aggression, lower tolerance. My son is TS+ so I guess everything peaked during that time.

    Does your son understand that he has TS or what TS is?

    He may think he is different or it is not alright to have TS and that could cause higher frustration levels too.

    Have your reported his mood swing to your physician? This might be a good idea so you can receive some direction to help him.

    Please continue to keep us posted.
    PJK

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