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my son is 13, and has in pst had intermittent facial/vocal tics that seemed to come and go

however at mo, they are quite bad, he makes a "gulping" noise and kind of grimaces, bearing his teeth

he s not overly anxious/ tired, or any of the things that make them worse

we try to ignore it, and I asked if he does it at school, and he said he tries not to

Im concerned as to why its worse just now, we wondered if its due to his age seems to be growth spurt just now

Has anyone else found these tics enscalating during adolscence, did they calm down again, and is there anything we could do to reduce them?

hate to think he will be an adult , and worried kids will tease , although he is at mainstream with asd unit, so are pretty good



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I have been told that in some cases, the hormonal surge of adolescence can indeed worsen the prevalence/intensity of tics, as can stress etc....

Have you tried giving him a piece of sugar free gum to chew? Its just that I remember watching a programme about Tourettes syndrome, and one wee boy (he was a brilliant wee kid) found that many of his tics lessened when he chewed gum, or played his trumpet. And he had a lot of tics, vocal, facial, stamping.......He was so mature and stoic about his problems, too. That boys school allowed him to chew gum in class, as it helped him so much......you could try it and see?

Would teaching him some relaxation techniques be of any use, I wonder? Like controlled breathing and such?

Glasd his school are good with him- do they have any tips at all? Your son cannot be the oonly child there who has tics, surely?


Sorry I cant be of more use, Lisa.


Esther x

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Hi Lisa,


Does he have Tourettes? I know that tics can fall in to the whole ASD spectrum and they have to be constant, although changing, to get a dx of Tourettes. OJ is nearly 13 and at the last appointment with the Tourettes clinic they said that the next year will probably be the worst because of the hormonal changes that are taking place so even if it is not 'proper' Tourettes I would agree that hormones do have an effect.


As to strategies, I could write a book about them!!! It depends which specific tic OJ is having trouble with as some cause him severe muscular pain, due to having to make a particular movement hundreds of times a day! The worst one was the jaw cracking and we did find thst chewing gum helped alleviate it - the only boy in school with a written note from SENCO allowing him to chew gum in class!! At the moment his tics are tending to be vocal rather than physical and this embarrases him at times especially with the not so sympathetic, understanding kids and in some cases, teachers!


Oh and like the boy that Pookie mentioned when OJ is singing he hardly tics at all!!


Hope this helps


Stella xx

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