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Thread: Daughter,10, and son, 4, with TS and ADHD

  1. #1

    Default Daughter,10, and son, 4, with TS and ADHD

    We are new here and have 3 children and 2 of them have been diagnosed with TS and ADHD. Our 10 year old daughter began having tics at age 4, and our son is now 4 and started having tics about a year and a half ago. Our daughter's tics started off with eye blinking, then head twitching, and of course they change from time to time. She has whistled and hummed, opens her mouth wide, raises her eyebrows, sticks her tounge out, and repeats sentences that she says and ours at times. Her head twitching and eye blinking seem to always stay and never go away, but at times lessen. The "humming" we have not heard for almost 2 years but that has just recently started again. The other kids in her class are starting to notice her head twitch now. She actually had a problem with a girl recently, mocking the movement that she does with her head. She does take Intuniv daily, which seems to help for the ADHD but not really for the tics.

    Our 4 year old son has done the eye blinking, eyebrow raising, coughing, he at times repeats the last word or 2 that he says, he had one not to long ago where he would roll his eyes back and shrug his shoulders at the same time, he also has this thing (not sure if it's a tic or OCD) where he has to smell everything. For a while he was touching things and then licking his hand.

    My husband had TS and OCD when he was little and it seemed to "go away", but now that the kids are having tics it seems to be triggering his again.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Ottawa, Canada
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    Default Re: 10 year old daugther & 4 year old son w/TS and ADHD

    Welcome to the Forum and thank you for joining us!

    now that the kids are having tics it seems to be triggering his (husband) again
    I would first ask how much of a problem is this for him and is he expressing tics when at home or around the children, or are the tics expressed all day long at work, driving alone in the car, during social activities with friends etc?

    It isn't clear what actually occurs when tic activity seems to subside in some children once they get through teen years and become adults, but one possibility could be that as some people mature and has lived with their Tourette for a while, they learn how to suppress their tics in much the same way Tourette therapists now teach CBIT (cognitive therapy for tics) to children and adults.

    If you are unfamiliar with CBIT, enter the term into the search box at the top right of the Forum to access numerous articles and posts on the topic.

    She (daughter) actually had a problem with a girl recently, mocking the movement
    This should be addressed with the school, the teacher and especially with your daughter's classmates, by having an informal presentation on Tourette, explaining that Tourette is a neurological disorder and that the movements and sounds are involuntary, much like a sneeze or an itch. Most kids respond to explanations that take some of the mystique from the tic activity. Information is important, and your children would benefit from a role play lesson with Mom and Dad to be able to explain their Tourette activity to others if and when the need occurs.

    We have a number of brochure type documents you can download and print for this very purpose HERE. In fact the entire section on Tics Overview contains articles that you might find helpful.

    he (4 yr old son) also has this thing (not sure if it's a tic or OCD) where he has to smell everything.
    Tics involve muscle movement or flexing, so the need to smell objects would likely be classified as a compulsion.

    Do you have a physician with clinical experience who is treating the family? Are there local Tourette support resources, such a local Chapter of the Tourette Syndrome Association in your area where you and your children can meet other families dealing with Tourette?

  3. #3

    Default Re: 10 year old daugther & 4 year old son w/TS and ADHD

    Thank you for the information, and I will also check out the brochures that are available. As far as my husband goes, his tics or OCD seems to be more so when he is around the kids and they are having a bad day with theirs. However, just talking to him about TS will set his off and he can only talk for a little bit about it and then he has to stop so it will calm down.

    I was just reading on some other threads and now have a question about anger/rage attacks. I was reading them and thinking that sounds like what our daughter does. She seems to be set off by the littlest things. Sometimes she will even start screaming and yelling, stomping her feet, she will go into her room and start throwing things while she screams, and then like a minute or two later she will walk out of her room and have a totally different tone of voice and act like nothing ever happened like Jekyl and Hyde. Could this be related?

    The kids have only seen their regular pediatrician and Neurologist for the conditions. They referred us to a Psych Dr and at first I have to admit that we were kind of offended, but now I think I understand that they are more knowledgable with these things I guess? I need to take them I think it may help. Our daughter is 10 and in 3rd grade still. She still only has a 1st grade level in reading and still reverses some of her letters. There are questions as to wether she has Dyslexia but unfortunately we can't afford the testing or therapy for it and insurance won't cover Learning Disabilites.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: 10 year old daugther & 4 year old son w/TS and ADHD

    They referred us to a Psych Dr and at first I have to admit that we were kind of offended
    I understand why you might feel that way, but the reality is that in many cases psychiatrists are one of the medical specialists who actually have a clinical interest in treating people with Tourette Syndrome.

    That is not to say Tourette Syndrome is a psychiatric disorder, but doctors interested in treating disorders of the mind are frequently drawn to Tourette as a sub specialty. The advantage in consulting a psychiatrist is that these specialists are trained in treating the associated disorders of Tourette, such as OCD, ADD, anxiety and depression.

    So in different areas of the Country you will find various medical professionals in different specialties who are the "local Tourette expert". I is often the neurologist, but it could be a pediatrician, a psychologist and sometimes a family practitioner.

    The reality is that most doctors are inadequately trained in Tourette, while others are just not interested, which is why as a parent or family member of a person with Tourette, you have to be pro-active in seeking out the local Tourette expert.

    have a question about anger/rage attacks
    Rage reactions, sometimes called storms are not uncommon among people with Tourette. There seems to be a mechanism where sensory overload can trigger this kind of rage reaction.

    In children, for example, if you might say to your child, all in one sentence, " Do your homework, clean your room, walk the dog, put away your bicycle, brush your teeth, get your pajamas and get ready for bed".....could actually trigger a rage reaction.

    Multiple commands all in a row seem to clog the ability to compartmentalize the tasks, and can cause the type of reaction you've described.

    The same can occur and does in adults with Tourette Syndrome, so dialogue and understanding with the person by the other members of the family can help. Your best strategy is to just walk away and let them settle down, but in your dialogue, it should be made clear that Tourette and rage reactions are no excuse for rude behaviour.

    In fact, many people who experience rage reactions can benefit from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) similar but not for the same purpose as CBIT referred to earlier. CBT can help recognize situations that might cause a rage reaction, and potentially diffuse it before allowing it to occur.

    CBT and CBIT tends to be effective therapy for children older than 10 and for adults, because the person requires some sense of self awareness to be able to recognize the triggers or the urges, and to be able to form strategies to overcome them.


    Additional information regarding Tourette Syndrome, is that the expression of tics tends to be exacerbated (made more intense) by stress and anxiety, fatigue and/or excitement.

    This might provide some insight into why your husband's and/ or children's tic activity seems to become more intense at certain times.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 10 year old daugther & 4 year old son w/TS and ADHD

    Quote Originally Posted by parentsof3 View Post
    I was just reading on some other threads and now have a question about anger/rage attacks. I was reading them and thinking that sounds like what our daughter does. She seems to be set off by the littlest things. Sometimes she will even start screaming and yelling, stomping her feet, she will go into her room and start throwing things while she screams, and then like a minute or two later she will walk out of her room and have a totally different tone of voice and act like nothing ever happened like Jekyl and Hyde.
    I have found the discussions around this very helpful, since it is so difficult to figure out how to work with and around the storms. That is, it can be fairly exhausting work trying to avoid the triggers (or just to see how often you can't figure out a trigger in advance, since part of the problem may be other stressors the child is dealing with at the time, which leave them more vulnerable to the 'storm': that is, a comment that might be ordinary one day becomes the trigger on another).

    One of the real challenges for me as a parent is trying to figure out how to recover from the storms. It is absolutely the case that with my child, after what is a 'storm' of such magnitude that i am seriously considering the option of sending him to a psych ward, he seems to deal with it by some sort of 'reset', as if it never really happened. The challenge is that I do not always find it equally easy to do a reset, and can be pretty close to broken for a couple of days after. Understanding how the storm thing works IS really helpful, since it can make the storminess a bit less painful (that is, serve as a reminder that the hurtful or even hateful things said aren't 'real' in a meaningful sense). Still, there is no denying that rage-episodes are utterly utterly exhausting....while in the long run, i remain hopeful that my child will be able to find ways to control/channel/cope with the rage-impulse in more productive directions, in the short run (until the child is willing to access those supports), it is a challenge.

    it is really helpful having a place to read about other's challenges, and strategies. thanks.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 10 year old daugther & 4 year old son w/TS and ADHD

    Quote Originally Posted by Glass Half Full View Post
    One of the real challenges for me as a parent is trying to figure out how to recover from the storms. It is absolutely the case that with my child, after what is a 'storm' of such magnitude that i am seriously considering the option of sending him to a psych ward, he seems to deal with it by some sort of 'reset', as if it never really happened. The challenge is that I do not always find it equally easy to do a reset, and can be pretty close to broken for a couple of days after.
    I have stumbled upon this after having a couple daily rage attacks with my son. Thank you for posting this. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who has such a difficult time with these storms.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Daugther,10, and son, 4, with TS and ADHD

    I think as parents we get so caught up in taking care of our kids that we forget that we need to recharge ourselves.
    Find a way to recharge yourself after a storm.
    Read a book, get a massage, even just get out of the house and enjoy a coffee with a friend or go for a long, quiet walk.

    As parents, tag team care of your children, so you have this time for yourself.
    If you're a single parent home, is there someone you can call to be at your house while you get away for a few hours and do something for yourself?
    You have to take care of yourself so you can take care of your child.
    Reducing your stress, will smooth over the nerves that have been frayed in a storm, and provides a calmer environment for your family to move on.
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