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Happy New Year! Tic resolutions?

Keeping this short as I’m at work. (Unless you’re my boss reading, in which case I am diligently coming up with 75 Examiner Headlines.)

How was your Christmas? How are the tics? How are you dealing with them?

One dear friend of mine from my private group keeps a Victory journal. It’s a faith based writing memoir in which she shares her struggles and hopes for her son with God. By writing down verses and scriptures, she has an automatic go-to way to release some of her fears. I love that!

As for me, I am a pray-er and list maker. Here are my goals for dealing with Tourettes this year. Would love to hear yours.

Fantasy Goal: Not let tics bug me in the least!

Realistic Goal: Find the courage to accept the tics I cannot change, change the tics I can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Current tics

Thanks to acupuncture, Stink’s vocal tics are gone. I mean GONE. Given how much crap he ate over Christmas, combined with video games and lack of sleep, I don’t believe this is just coincidence or part of the tic cycle. Acupuncture is the reason, so I’m grateful. (Stay tuned this week as I video tape the lovely Martina speaking on this subject!)

Unfortunately, my son’s head shakes/nods are at an all time high. I mean, NON stop. Martina thinks that the supplements will take affect in six weeks and to be patient until then. If they don’t go away, it’s time to reconsider how much time he spends on the computer.

I pray that he does find relief via the herbs she is prescribing, because he SOOOO loves his gaming. He is not playing all day. He plays weekends only. During vacation he plays 1-2 hours/day. This might seem like a lot, but as a kid, I watched TV 1 hour-2 hours/day. I also biked and ran and hung out with friends, just like Stink. We’ll have to see.

Realistic Plan for 2014 for Tic Treatment

  • Gluten free unless a birthday party
  • Computers weekends only except 10 minutes/during week to feed some virtual plant in some game. (I know, it’s dumb)
  • New sport introduced for daily exercise
  • Dog for him to walk daily!
  • Acupuncture 3 days/week + supplements

More Hardcore Plan if tics don’t decrease by Spring

  • No 10 minute virtual plant feeding during week
  • Going dairy free again
  • Revisit the idea of Brain Balance now that I’m working and might be able to swing the 5K
  • Consider some kind of Lens Treatment for tics
  • Revisit an environmental doc to guide me on pros and cons of letting a kid be a kid (video games) and supplementing with good stuff I’m already doing

For Me

  • Daily exercise
  • No wine during the week
  • Church on Sundays with family
  • Bible Study daily (just 10 minutes)
  • Life Group (small groups of people thru church) to connect with once/week and remind me that my life is not based on tics but something so much greater than myself

I pray that 2014 brings you peace that transcends understanding. I pray that you (and I) remember that all kids have something. We can’t always fix the tics, but we can encourage the gifts our kids are born with. Personality trumps Tourette Syndrome. Love you all!

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  1. While i do understand that you want to do the best for your son i wonder if you are taking it a bit too far. Does he mind his tics? Are they negatively affecting his life? Will he be more unhappy and carefree if he just lives within the tics that already happen then if he is not allowed to do what his friends do? I’m not against these treatments necessarily but i can imagine the pressure that it would put on your son to have things “work” and the shame in needing the “more hardcore plan” that i worry could be seen by him as a punishment. I am sure that you want what’s best for him, but if you spend so much energy trying to fix him instead of letting him be as much like other kids as you can i am worried that you might be adding more disruptions to his life. Just a ticcers perspective, and no offense meant!

    • i think its strange for someone to ask if someone with ts minds their tics or if they are negatively affecting their life. of course they mind and of course it negatively affects their life. do you think there is anyone out there who actually wants to have this?????

    • Hi Olivia – I think you make a great point, actually. It’s something I struggle with and, for lack of sounding high handed, pray about. I think I’m doing a pretty good job figuring out when it’s me with the issue and when my son needs some relief. To your question, no, he has ZERO problems with his tics. I mean ZERO. I think there are a few reasons for it: 1. He is a person of faith that truly believes he is here for a reason and designed by God for a purpose. Tics don’t define him. They are something he does. 2. I believe he has this faith because I diligently and with a full heart believe that my son IS amazing and he feels that in every fiber of his being. 3. Stink (not real name) came out of the womb wired for joy, so a few tics aren’t going to bug him. 4. I believe he is less concerned about tics because what I’ve done for him with his diet and supplements/acupuncture truly reduce them. 5. He’s at a school where bullying is not an option. It’s public and we are incredibly blessed to be there.

      With all this said, and absolutely NO offense taken (so glad you commented) this leaves me with the fine line of trying to fix tics for him vs. me. While I won’t take away his video games – I believe the biggest source of his tics now – I will make sure his body calms down. it’s not even the tics I’m trying to help but the stuff that goes along with it in his case – focus and impulse control (which is typical of an 11 year old anyway!)

      I suppose, in closing, I don’t feel I’m hurting him because we are incredibly close and he KNOWS how much I love him. There isn’t a doubt in his mind about who he is in this world and family. Diet and restrictions are boundaries for him, just like all kids have boundaries. I really think our world of “let them feel good/self-esteem” can go a bit far at times. My son has self-esteem because Mommy teaches him self-control. And if I’m wrong, we have grace and forgiveness to start over.

      PS: Would also like to say sorry to anybody who tics that feels I’m not being sensitive enough. That is not my goal. This is my blog about my son and I’m totally, 100%, open to feedback.

  2. Oh boy, where do I start? What a year it was! Let me start with my 4 year old son was diagnosed with TS this past August. As a psychologist it was not a surprise, but still heart wrenching to hear the confirmation from 2 separate neurologists. Followed by having to convince my son’s pediatrician that he DOES have TS and it is NOT just psychological! Next mission…cutting my son’s hair to prove to my relatives that his eye tics are NOT caused because his hair is too long….next mission…..explaining that his video games did not MAKE him have TS! Next mission…..meet with my son’s teacher and principle to explain TS and some of the underlying issues that effect my son. Final mission…..find out everything I can about helping him!!! Well that was last years missions. This year I have a few resolutions…. Spread awareness, continue to see all of the reasons why God blessed me with my beautiful boy, stay positive, love my husband, and most of all…..pay attention to my amazing 2 OTHER children!!!! They, in my opinion, ask for nothing. They worry along side of me for their little brother. They teach me how to find more patience just when I think I have run out. They pray harder than I do and love him when I am exhausted. They are my backbone and my biggest resolution this year is to let them know how much I appreciate them and how important they are to me!

    • Lynn, Monica and anyone else — we would love to have you blog, too! If you are interested, please write us at parents at njcts dot org. Thanks!

  3. Andrea – I love the honesty in everything you write. I don’t think our kids will ever look back on us trying to help them as non- acceptance. They’ll only remember how they were loved! I appreciate you!! Happy 2014!

  4. Wow! I’m seriously shocked and surprised! As a successful adult with TS who was at some point was forced on diets and changed tons of meds etc. I am sad that you are trying to stop the TS before realizing it rarely goes away for any of us in any circumstances and instead just having fun with your kid…I don’t believe in any Gods but I’ll be praying for your kids because I truly wish them the ability to cope with you not accepting them and having Tics at the same time

    • Hi – Yeah, I feel bad about worrying about his tics. It’s why I write here. I am not the only parent who worries about it. Thank you for praying for me regardless of your belief in a god. I will praying for you, too, for making it clear I’m a crappy parent for having a hard time coping with something and not seeing the obvious love I have for my child who, for the record, is one of the most adjusted kids I know. I’m very aware of my insecurities and I’m trying super hard to accept stuff or I wouldn’t be writing this blog in the first place. I am sorry if it comes off otherwise. Not my intention.

    • I don’t see how you think she is being mean and not accepting of her son here. You should read her other articles. Sheesh, some people!

    • @ Kat – I’m seriously shocked that you are being so judgmental of someone who is only trying to do their best as a parent. Someone who writes a blog to help other parents deal with a disorder that has ZERO to do with not loving and accepting our kids, but acknowledges that it is still challenging to live with. Someone who when I was at one of the lowest points in my life emailed me (a total stranger) and encouraged me that everything would be okay. Someone that sang me a funny song on my voice mail to let me know “you’re gonna make it”. Someone that called and talked to me even though she had no idea who I was – only that I was sad and struggling. Additionally, I am honestly happy that you are a successful adult with TS, I really do mean that. But I’m also seriously surprised that you don’t know the statistics or talk to other people that had tics or TS when they were children and grew out of them because I have read the stats (16 hours a day at one point) and have talked to many, many, many people/doctors/therapists and the reality is… the exact opposite of what you wrote. The majority of people do grow out of their tics and/or find that they level out into adulthood. My dad’s best childhood friend is an example, my adopted cousin is an example, a friend of mine’s son who is now going on 16 is an example Dan Aykroyd. Yes, some people never grow out of them and I can personally assure you that the woman writing this blog, along with many of us other mom’s (and dad’s) who “worry” about our children and their tics will still love, support and stand by our kids no matter what! Lastly, I have a relative that is a vegetarian and is raising her kids that way. I have a friend that is a vegan and raising her kids that way. In both situations the kids are happy, healthy and loved. I’m sure if they grow up and decide to eat meat or meat by-products their parents will understand and it is doubtful the kids will be scarred for life. I force my sons diet on him. Yep, I force it on him. He is totally deprived. I make him homemade candy, special cupcakes & volunteer at every single event at his school to make sure he and his classmates have healthy snacks. He smiles from ear to ear when he comes home to freshly baked Gluten Free cookies (that I have to hide from my dad because he likes them better then Toll House). What a travesty for these poor children who have parents that do not love or accept them. I have a long family history of Crohn’s disease, Colitis, IBS, Diverticulitis, etc. and my “western medicine” pediatrician said “I don’t know if removing Gluten will help his tics, but I’m 95% sure he won’t have your family history of bowel and digestive disorders”. Hmmm, Gluten must be really good for you! Lastly, my son does believe in God, he believes in a God that made him perfect, exactly how he is — tics and all. That same God also loves my son’s neurotic, ADD, OCD, anxiety ridden mother. I’d love to be enlightened on how exactly you “pray” for someone’s children if you don’t believe in God? But, either way it doesn’t matter because the person that wrote this original post has enough people that do believe in God praying for her and her kids. Not because her kids need prayers to live with a mom that doesn’t love them and accept them with their tics, but because we all need prayers of love, support, friendship, tolerance and understanding. I will pray that for you!

        • Okay, the third time is the charm. I guess it doesn’t like my brackets…that should have said “supposedly Dan Aykroyd”. 🙂

      • What Lynn said. Being a mom or parents of a kids with TS is all about love, support, friendship, tolerance and understanding. If you don’t have that, you don’t got nothin! Oh, and this blogging mom has that. So leave her alone.

  5. I have to say.. That if his tics don’t get better, DO NOT remove things that he wants to do or his tics WILL get worse. If he wants to feed his “dumb” virtual plant, let him. He finds that fun and what he needs is fun things to do. Tourettes gets worse with stress and better with less stress.

    Out of curiosity, do you let him put input to the treatment plans? Do you listen to him when he says things are unfair? Or if he wants to try something, or doesn’t want to do something, what do you do?

    -A ticcer

    • I actually 100% listen to my son. It’s why I do let him play on the computer and don’t have him on any meds. He is super well adjusted. Thanks.

  6. Hi everyone! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! It is 2014, and I am psyched about what’s ahead in the future this year. I hope to experience more new and exciting things. I just drove on a public road for 75 miles yesterday so I can’t wait to have more driving experiences. I also wonder how my TS is going to be this year. I guess I won’t know until it happens. Well, I hope you all have a fantabulous holiday AND new year because you guys rock!

  7. My resolution is for me, my wife and my sons to get through this year better than last year. Beyond that, we can’t control what Tourette brings or doesn’t bring. The year is off to a good start, so we are happy for that.

    • Go Marc, go! Hey, are you ever offended that in my many personal posts I talk to “mamas” and not “papas?” I kind of am branded as a mom expert (from my BabyCenter days) and yet, look at you – all connected to your kid. thoughts? Does it bump you? support and hugs from L.A.! Your son is one lucky kid to have you!

      • Nope, not at all. Your posts are amusing and helpful. It never would have occurred to me, either, if you hadn’t just pointed it out!

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