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Thread: Do we tell him?????

  1. #1

    Default Do we tell him?????

    Hello everyone,

    I need some advice about my 11 year old son. I have been posting on here about my soon to be 8 year old because he has been in crisis lately (thankfully I think that is over). Our 11 year old was joking the other day saying "when am I going to be diagnosed with something?" because he knows I'm bipolar (amongst other things) and his dad has Tourettes. I just laughed it off but my DH and I know he does have a very minor form of Tourettes he clears his throat a lot and has another couple of facial tics that seem to be increasing lately. I think he is about to hit puberty which would explain the increase in tics. He's 5'5" and is starting to get a bit of acne, and showing other signs that he's growing up. Do we tell him or do we just let it be? I don't want to saddle him with a label because it is so minor but I also don't want him to worry if the tics get worse. Any suggestions?

    He's also got the lead in a play in the fall and I'm worried that the stress of being on stage will make the tics worse. My husband learned how to redirect his tics so they are less noticeable and he could help our son do that if we bring it up. What do we do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,945

    Smile Re: Do we tell him?????

    I am of the opinion that it's never a good idea to hide things, or at least tell on a need to know basis.

    It seems unfair to not share what you believe that your son might have a mild version of Tourette. There are several reasons I believe it to be important.

    Tourette Syndrome is not a derogatory designation as might be convicted felon or axe murderer (not meaning to trivialize the situation) but it is a part of who he is and he should understand what the disorder involves.

    If his tics become more active under stress, it would be a disservice to him if he began thinking there was some kind of personal failure on his part.

    Knowledge is power, and if he happens to be in a situation where someone notices his mild tics and asks about it, he can answer intelligently and with confidence.

    Also, looking down the road if and when he might enter into a serious relationship where the question of having children comes up, he and his wife should be fully aware of the genetic issues of Tourette and be able to make an informed decision at that time.

    There is no reason for shame or embarassment in connection with Tourette Syndrome in our day and age, and my opinion would be to let him know what you think. I would further suggest having him evaluated by a medical professional with expertise in Tourette Syndrome so he knows exactly what he has to think about as he matures into a productive adult.

    You could ask yourself, if your son had color blindness, diabetes or epilepsy, would you inform him of what he needs to know about his body in order that he can make the necessary choices that his disorder might require in certai situations?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Do we tell him?????

    I didn't mean to imply there is anything wrong with having Tourettes my husband has it and is the best person I have ever met. I just meant that because he doesn't seem the least bit concerned with or even know he has tics I don't want to make him self conscious by pointing them out. I do understand if they do start affecting his interactions I would talk to him. He's had the throat clearing tic since he was about 5 we spent forever trying to figure out what he was allergic to and getting hepa filters etc. It only occurred to us recently that it was a tic.

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