Monday, September 14, 2009

Straight From the Horse's Mouth

I was just thinking the other day that Little Bit hasn't had many tics lately. (For anyone new to my blog, our 5 year old daughter has Tourette Syndrome.) Well, today they reared their ugly head again.

I suppose if I stopped and thought hard about it, they are always around. But lately they have been so small and not a big deal that I haven't spent any time thinking about them. Mostly, she just feels the need to touch things. She'll even get up in the middle of a program to go touch the corners of the TV screen. Eh, it's just everyday life around here.

Today Sweetheart was posing a doll and taking pictures of it. As she walked away, Little Bit started touching the doll's head and Sweetheart said, "Don't mess it up!" Little Bit yelled back, "It's a tic!" I told her she could go ahead and touch it but to be careful. She touched all the parts that she felt needed to be touched and then we had this conversation:

LB: If I don't do the tics I feel bad.
Me: do you feel if you don't do the tic?
LB: I feel like......nervous if I don't.

(Pretty good explanation for a 5 year old, I'd say!)

LB: I don't like doing the tics. I wish they would go away.
Me: I'm sorry darling. I wish you didn't have to deal with them too.
LB: (sits down on couch and punches stomach) Go away tics! Get out of my tummy!!!!

I then suggested we find a computer game on dinosaurs to play. That distracted her enough and I got her interested in the game. It breaks my heart....and she wasn't really even all that upset during this conversation. But I have found I can sometimes distract her away from the tics. When she was younger she had a throat tic that hurt her to do. I would put a Wiggles CD on in the car for us to all sing along to and that usually worked.

Sweetheart is very patient with the tics. She will even be walking by carrying something and Little Bit will stop her so she can touch the object. She's still trying to wrap her head around the idea of tics. She asked me tonight during this conversation with Little Bit, "So....she can't stop them?" I told her she could, but it took a lot of effort and it was hard to do sometimes. Sweetheart gets kind of frustrated sometimes (when LB is standing in front of her TV program touching the corners of the screen), but overall she's really awesome at dealing with it. It probably helps that Little Bit hollers "TIC TIC TIC TIC TIC TIC" while she does it.

Which leaves very little doubt as to what is happening. :)


  1. Love it! I know the tics must be SO tough for her, but she is a trooper! And Sweetheart being so patient must be a real blessing.

    I don't know that I could handle that all the time. I have one (Cinderella) who always trots down the hall like a dog. ALL DAY LONG. And that's enough for me. God bless you!

  2. You're a great Mom , Brenda. Gos bless you and Little bit.

  3. I understand exactly what she says about feeling nervous if she doesn't do her tic. I can verge on having a panic attack if I don't fulfill my OCD. I empathize and sympathize with you. I see how hard it can be on others and on the person it consumes.

  4. We have a son (whom we are cautiously observing for autistic tendancies)developed a huge tic a few weeks ago. It involved his whole upper body, arms, mouth, and eyes (very much a tremor/shudder shake thing). He has had some minor voice tics before, as has his older sister while in nervous situations (which she has seemed to outgrow for the most part, thus it not being TS). Anyways, I linked his tic, which was consuming him about every 1 to 2 minutes for several days (mostly day time hours) to his new found interest in video games! (His older brothers play endlessly, which i don't particularly care, cuz they do school work first, and are also active athletes, thus I feel they are balanced) I distracted the video games for some old favorite activities, and the tic subsided significantly, to almost non existent. Ha, I've been parenting for over 20 yrs now (6 kids) and I still feel like it can be a guessing game... Thanks for sharing about distractions also (future reference), .... I think you do an amazing job of embracing the moments as they come...
    Blessings, Sheri

  5. thanks for the idea on distractions. Tic Tac hasn't been doing his regular tics as of late, and i have been inclined to just enjoy the peace (and quiet from the squeaking!) but we had some new scheduling changes recently, and he has started twirling his hair with both hands. i wasn't sure if it was a tic, or just a habit, i guess only time will tell. but i am going to try redirecting him the next time he is in full throttle with it.

    thanks, brenda!

  6. You are such a great mama! And what sweet girls you have!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)