My 5 (almost 6) year old son was recently diagnosed with a mild form of tourette syndrome. He´s been having tics on and off since the age of 3, it started with cough/throat clearing that has stopped (for now least) then came an eye blinking behavior that he has had since from the beginning of 2010.
I have read that tourette´s can be associated with adhd. What i´m wondering is, if it´s possible for children to show symptoms of adhd only occasionally, as a side disorder from tourette´s? I´m asking because my son sometimes completely shifts from a well manageble child to a goofy, uncontrollable and naughty little boy (behaving like small child) that is hard to calm down. Could it be related to the tourette´s?
I know exactly what you are going through. I have tourette's, ADD, and mild OCD. However, as a child, I had a fairly severe case of ADHD and can say that the most critical thing that made a difference was the amount of stimulation received or lack there of. There has to be a perfect balance in external stimulation as well as what is happening inside his mind. Most children outgrow the hyperactivity part of ADHD as they mature and many tics can completely disappear.
It sounds like your son has received a diagnosis for the Tourette's but not for ADHD or other co-morbid associations. I assume you received the diagnosis from a Neurologist. If this is the case, I highly recommend you find a psychiatrist in the area that is knowledgeable with tourette's. I was on everything from Risperdal, Haldol, Orap, Intuniv, etc. for the tourette's alone along with about 15 other meds trying to control my ADHD and OCD symptoms. However, the side effects of these drugs can be horrible. So, I have been ticcing for 20+ years now and have accepted that it is simply a part of who I am.
I also understand what you're going through. My son actually had tourettes at age 7 (skipping, eye blinking) however he wasn't officially diagnosed until age 11 (we thought it was just a kid doing annoying things). But after a while the "TICS" turned into head/neck jerking that we noticed at his football game. We caught this on video at the game and was able to take that to the Pediatric Neurologist and Tourettes was quickly diagnosed. We made my son very aware of his condition and he became very familiar when he would do one othe gestures "TICS" and learned how to really controll them. The Dr. prescribed a medication that came in the form of sprinkles. I could sprinkle them over the food. HOWEVER, I chose not to give him the medication. I had decided to just make him aware of his movements where he could control it as much as possible. Well, that was successful.
But...now he is 15 years old and I am back getting him re-evaluated because he is really struggling in the 9th grade (academics). Also, he shows signs of anger and depression as well as he has that "I could care less attitude" about everything. Took him back to the pediatric neurologist and they diagnosed him with... Tourettes, OCD, and ADD (there are two different forms: Inattentive and Attentive) my son is inattentive.
He is also scheduled for another "EEG" and some other test.
I'm not sure if my choosing to not put him on meds when he was first diagnosed was the right or wrong thing to do. But, I will say I made a mistake in not continuing to re-evaluate his behavior/symptoms and not continuing to really stay in-touch with his pediatric neurologist. Because here i am again, seems like at the beginning of trying to understand his medical conditions (he is not what I would say bad or mischeivous...but he lies so much and he has the attitude...I'm going just do what I want...and he could just CARE LESS about anything). Now, I understand this also sounds like the typical teenager. But because of his underlying medical problems...I'm not sure if he has
sort of just given up. Over the years his grades continuously got worse and worse. We would punish him and he would sort of pull them up but shortly afterwards, they would go right back down. A constant battle!
I spoke to another MD (who is a friend) and she was explaining that people with these medical conditions that don't get treatment have a very hard time in life. And it eventually affects self esteem, causes depression and etc. And it really makes sense...
For instance: If my son, all of this time, has been going to school and really trying. But
no matter how hard he tries. The result is always the same (bad grades) which results in getting in trouble at home. I could see how a person would someday get overwhelmed by that and choose to give up. (NOT give up on life...but give up trying).
Do everything you can to get a correct diagnosis and if medication is recommended. I would be sure to do MY OWN research (side effects and etc.) and make the most appropriate decision for your situation. But i would get help now.