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Old 08-10-2005, 10:05 AM   #1
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luvmypinkpdle HB User
child with add/adhd and tourettes?

My stepson was diagnosed with add when he was 5. When he was 4 his mother couldn't cope with him and sent him to live with his father and me. I took him to the doctor got him diagnosed, started him on ritalin and also put him in counseling. He stayed with us for a year, started kindergarten and did exceptionally well. He went back to his mother who then proceeded to change his meds and then take him off completely after the first grade. He was doing well in school but she didn't want him to "be known as the kid who has to take medication". His teachers told us that he went from being the smartest kid in his grade level to barely passing the second grade. They wanted to put him in an excellerated program but couldn't do it because he had become so disrupptive and incomplient in class. He had to sit in a corner away from the other children and missed out on about half of his recesses. The teachers began keeping a log of his behavior and noted 62 acts of disobiedence ranging from talking out of turn to fighting in two weeks. He has been kicked out of various afterschool programs including the boys and girls club. The mother finally put him back on meds at the end of the school year.
When he came to stay with us this summer I noticed he was making unusal sounds with his mouth. It sounded almost like a cat purring and he would do it sometimes 20 times in a row then wouldn't do it again for a couple of hours. He also makes a sucking noise thru the day. He would even do it while he was talking, just put different sounds in the middle of his sentences. That was a couple of months ago. Now he is starting to have facial ticks. He does this really fast smile where his face kind of scrunches up and sometimes blinks alot. He said that it had just started but he felt like he could not control it. His grandparents told us he started making the noises about 5 months ago. They were visiting recently and I mentioned that I thought he may have tourettes. They quickly dismissed it and said he was only making the noises because he had recently gotten a cat and he like to make the purring sound. His grandma would often tell him to quit making the noises because it was a bad habit and people would make fun of him at school if he kept it up. Later I heard her telling him again to stop and also that if he kept it up that people would start medicating him for a diease that he doesn't have. (meaning me)
Does anyone else have a child with both add and tourettes? If so does this sound familiar?
We are unsure of what if any steps we should take. We brought up the idea of tourettes with his mother and asked her to please talk to his doctor about it. She said that it was just probablly another symptom of the add, although she has not seen him since the facial ticks started. He is going home at the end of the week. I don't think it's enough time to get him into a doctor here. I don't have his medical history for the past 3 years and think a doctor would be reluctant to give me an opinion without it. Even if I did get a diagnosis his mother probablly wouldn't accept it just because I would be the one taking care of everthing.
If anyone is familiar with tourettes I would appreciate the input.
thanks

Last edited by luvmypinkpdle; 08-10-2005 at 10:08 AM.

 
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Old 08-12-2005, 10:07 AM   #2
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Re: child with add/adhd and tourettes?

When my son (now 13) was on Ritalin at the age of 6, he developed tics. He would make a kind of squeaking noise with his throat, constantly 'roll' the end of his shirt. I knew that it was because of the meds. The doc and all research said that if your child has TS then Ritalin will give them tics. I took him off Ritalin. I didn't want to treat a condition brought about by meds regardless if it was said that he may have TS. It took about a month before the tics went away. He did not have any more meds until he was 12 and took regular Adderall 30mg once a day just for school. It helped him keep his focus in school and bring his grades back up. He did not have any tics while on this med. Does he have TS because he developed tics on Ritalin, I don't think so. It was a side effect of the drug. One thing that I talk to my niece about (she has a son who is currently taking Strattera) is, make sure that it is an actual condition, not a result of the meds taken because you don't want to treat a condition that is brought out by the meds. Can you imagine? Ok, he's on Ritalin, gets tics, then is put on another med to control that, this new med causes another condition that is again treated by another med. On and on it could go.

I would say, change his med and if possible, try Adderall. The tics will not disappear at once. You know they say it takes 30 days to make a habit. You may have to gently remind him that he is doing it so he is aware and can attempt to control it.
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Old 08-12-2005, 10:40 AM   #3
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Re: child with add/adhd and tourettes?

My 7yr old son has Tourette's,ADHD, OCD, and early onset bipolar(manic). These diagnosis didn't come at the same time. Tourette's wasn't confirmed until June 2005.
Initially his psychiatrist told me that the tics may come from an underlying condition and when he takes adhd meds, it would cause him to have tics. He's taken every type of ADHD meds and they all caused tics. Every time the dosage was increased they would get worse. In June he was referred to a pediatric neurologist that confirmed that he had tourette's. He did advise that during the teen years we'd find out if he would grow out of them. So far, the tics have gotten more complex.
When I looked back through my journals(I've journaled since he was born), he showed signs of Tourette's in Kindergarten at 5/6yrs of age before he started taking adhd meds. He did the blinks, winks, smacking his lips, but nothing verbal. Like some parents, I too knew he had ADHD long before the diagnosis; but I thought that the tics were habits.
He would tell me that he couldn't help it and sometimes he didn't realize he was doing it. I felt horrible because I would get frustrated with him because I thought he was doing it on purpose. Now he doesn't mind telling people that he has tourette's when they offer him sips of water or a drink because their thinking its due to his throat being dry.
The only change to his meds since the confirmed dx was 1 extra mg of tenex and now the tics have decreased throughout the day.
He's currently taking 10mg dexedrine spansule(15mg will cause him to tic non stop for hours). 3mg Tenex, 600mg of trileptal, and .75mg of risperdal per day.
Hope this helps. Good luck!

Last edited by lilwhiz; 08-12-2005 at 11:17 AM.

 
Old 08-12-2005, 03:22 PM   #4
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Re: child with add/adhd and tourettes?

Thanks for the replies. His mother is comming to get him today so I will be checking with her to see if she takes him to the doctor for it. He has been on Adderral for the last couple of weeks. His mother sent him up with 14 capsules of straterra and then wouldn't send us anymore. She said she didn't have time to go to the doctor so I ended up taking him to a clinic that gave him Adderral. Before the straterra he was off meds. I don't know if going on and off the meds made it worse. From what I understand the vocal noises started when he was not on meds. They seem to occur less often since the adderral but now he has the facial tics. They seem to be almost non-stop. I took him to the mall with me today and noticed people looking at him. It was starting to really upset me. Hopefully his mother will take care of this I'd hate for him to get made fun of in school, kids can be so mean. Dose anyone know how or if they can accuretly diagnose if he has TS as opposed to this just being a side effect of meds?
Thanks

 
Old 08-15-2005, 11:52 AM   #5
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Re: child with add/adhd and tourettes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmypinkpdle
Thanks for the replies. His mother is comming to get him today so I will be checking with her to see if she takes him to the doctor for it. He has been on Adderral for the last couple of weeks. His mother sent him up with 14 capsules of straterra and then wouldn't send us anymore. She said she didn't have time to go to the doctor so I ended up taking him to a clinic that gave him Adderral. Before the straterra he was off meds. I don't know if going on and off the meds made it worse. From what I understand the vocal noises started when he was not on meds. They seem to occur less often since the adderral but now he has the facial tics. They seem to be almost non-stop. I took him to the mall with me today and noticed people looking at him. It was starting to really upset me. Hopefully his mother will take care of this I'd hate for him to get made fun of in school, kids can be so mean. Dose anyone know how or if they can accuretly diagnose if he has TS as opposed to this just being a side effect of meds?
Thanks
If he had TS previously or not, the fact remains that most stimulants will either cause TS or make any pre-existing TS much worse. Stimulants can also cause symptoms of bi-polar and OCD. It all depends on dosage and tolerance of each individual kid; just because alot of kids do not get TS or bi-polar on stimulants doesn't mean the drug is innocent.

Everyone reacts to drugs differently at times which is always interpreted as an underlying condition "unmasked" by drugs by the psychiatric community but IMHO I don't buy into that because it is already well known that a dose of a drug that may hardly effect one person could kill another; that some people can drink alot and be fine but others can't walk after the same amount of drink; that everyone has different systems, different allergic reactions, etc.

Difference in sensitivities to drugs does not mean pre-existing disease but simply sensitivities to drugs, at least logically that is.

Why even food for example: My husband can't eat tomato sauce without getting a stomach ache but I eat the same sauce and feel fine. I can't eat tobasco sauce and he can. But both of use can eat teriaki sauce. In other words, we are simular yet different. So who's stomach is "normal", his or mine?

I think I would consider the drugs the culprit. Problem is, even though the tics can go away in some kids caused by meds, the tics can also become permanant since stimulants can damage the brain and nervous system. So I'm not sure if going off the meds would help but maybe should be considered. If so, they should be weaned off of very slowly (usually slower than doctors recommend) to minimize any effects of withdrawals. Otherwise, they do have drugs for tics but like one poster mentioned, the drugs have domino effects so many more will end up precribed in the end.

 
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