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Dope-I-Mean: Getting mad at Dopamine

As I type this post, my son is doing a light warble about every 30 seconds as he speaks. His playmate, a blond neurotypical easygoing girl, is not bothered in the least. I, on the other hand, am annoyed beyond reason.

“We have to save the world! Ah ah ah… Let’s use this stick and go for it!” Stink sings, before shooting out the back door Video Game style.

I know I should be happy that my son does not have a more severe case. I should be thrilled he is socially accepted, he likes himself and we have no end to the gaggle of kids in and out of our house. And yet, the nonending machine-gun consistency of this dopamine-firing induced tic has me unglued.

I get short with the kids. (My next post will be my confessional post. Be kind.) I have two reasons in particular to feel the sting of this tic:

  1. I haven’t seen this tic since last summer when it took up permanent residency. For three months. Can we say “Ready to lose my brain for 400?”
  2. I know what’s causing it. I believe it’s from Mario, the video game. I thought that by removing my son’s Nintendo DS this holdiay season we he had cured him of this particular tic. He was soooo beyond excited, and brain fried, from playing Mario on the small flashing DS screen that his body responded in vocal opera, along with shoulder shrugs. When the D.S. went away, so did most of his tics.

My husband and I had hoped that my game-loving son would fare better on a bigger screen thanks to the Wii. He seemed fine for a few months, especially with this weekly round of acupuncture. But then that nasty Tarzan tic swung back into action — quietly but with a vengence.

I know… I know… he has TS, but when he is not overstimulated, most of the tics stay quiet. I am feeling upset because I don’t know what to do.

A. Take away the Wii also?

B. Reduce the time? He plays two hours Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. It’s tied into school work. Sadly, it’s just Mario he loves/obsesses over. Sports? Not so much.

Thoughts on this? If it were up to me, it would be gone. My husband, being the computer I.T. guy he is, thinks we need to find some balance, hence weekend time.

Me? I struggle. I know my son has TS, and sometimes tics are unavoidable. But if you know what’s causing it, what do you do about it? Accept it as part of life? Do I have a huge problem or is there an easy fix! (Did I mention I HATE Mario?)

I would love your input. Come visit me at www.happilytickedoff.com (But don’t yell at me. I am too frazzled right now!)

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