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mom2-4 02-17-2009 03:49 AM

Information on Tourettes Syndrome needed!
Is there a certain age where Tourettes appears in a child? What are signs?

I know all kids seem to have their habits of different things. DS always wiggles his jaw, DD cleared her throat annoyingly for a very long time.

But, my 2 y.o. DS has started just yelling out swear words. Yes, he unfortunately hears these words at home. And when he does say these words we usually just react like he is saying any old thing. We don't over react, and tell him not to say that, or laugh.

He just in the last week, has started to just at any given time like while watching TV, to just say "f=(&!^& @$$". What gets me is I have not noticed anyone in the home saying this! At least not in combination, and I know it is not something he heard some where else, as he does not go anywhere else.

I have not noticed any other ticks.

He does have quite a vocabulary, clear vocabulary, and the thing is other people understand what he is saying!

Could this just be a phase, and he is just trying out new words?

DeBora4BobbyL 02-17-2009 04:11 AM

My DS has Tourette's Syndrome (TS), now called Tourette's Disorder. You can get a lot of helpful information from the Tourette's Syndrome Association (TSA). I used to be the representative for my area when my DS was young. If affects more boys than girls and the average age of onset is 6-7 years. However, it has been seen in children as early as 2 years of age. The criteria to be diagnosed is:

1) There has to be BOTH vocal and motor tics present at the same time. I noticed the difference in Tourette's and other tic disorders is that there are many tics that come from the torso.

2) The tics occur many time a day (usually in bouts) nearly every day for a period of MORE THAN ONE YEAR, and during this period of time, there was never a tic free period of more than 3 consecutive months.

3) The onset is before the age of 18 years.

4) The disturbance is not due to the direct physicological effects of a substance or a general medical condition.

The copropalia (repeating with others say, including bad words) and copropraxia (repeating what others do, including bad gestures) are seen in some TS patients. It is considered rare. My DS went through that at about age 10.

With that being said
, remember that your DS must have the symptoms for at least a year to get the diagnosis. It is quite uncommon for a child of the age of 2 to start exibiting the symptoms--but not impossible. I would watch him for awhile. If it is a phase, then the best thing to do is ignore the unwanted behavior. If it is a phase to get attention, then paying attention to it will only cause them to increase. After a few months, if he has TS, you will notice that the symptoms, they will wax and wane. For example, a tic of dragging the toe and coughing will last for awhile and then might be replaced with a "squeek" and a arm-jerking tic. That, of course, is just an example. If this not TS, the behavior will stay the same. After a period of ignoring, he will stop.

The main thing at this point, and keep him away from those people who swear. Children at age of 2, whether or not they have TS don't swear unless they've heard the word. If he is away from the language, he should stop or be reduced in saying those words.

Feel free to ask me any questions. I have worked with psychologists, ministers, teachers, parents, doctors, and so on. My DS stood up in church once and told everone that I had a P****! lol It was NOT funny at the time because this was before I had teens and wasn't desensitised to this type of language. Let me know if the TSA Web site is of any help. They used to list doctors in your area who specialize in TS, they have videos, and they are working on a cure for TS.

Good luck!

mom2-4 02-17-2009 11:08 AM

Thanks, Debora, I will just keep watching him.

I know children swear and either 1. have no clue they are doing something bad.
2) Know it is bad and get a rise out of adults, and like to perform.

So, what gets me about it, is he is just saying these words out of no where. At first I was thinking it was an attention thing, that he had been getting a rise out of the older kids. But, what really got me to start being concerned were two incidents.

He was with his older brother, and they were making breakfast, and Zac just came out of no where with words. ODS just ignored him.

Than one night I was reading a book to Zac, and he blurted out the bad words. And just sat there, when I said what did you say, in a very regular question voice, he looked at me and said "what"? With a look on his face like I was crazy, and that he seemed to think he hadn't said anything.

I will just keep watch, and just hope it is a phase. Because I have not noticed any type of ticks. Just a habit of pursing his lips, and with his pointer finger feeling the pointy part of his lip. Which like I said is just a habit, I am sure, as he seems to be aware that he does it, cause he has done it to me.

DeBora4BobbyL 02-17-2009 01:41 PM

Karen, if he has older siblings, especially if those siblings bring home friends, the toddler may pick up bad language without realizing it. I hear bad language on prime time television all the time. Children can pick it up there as well without realizing that it is bad.

mom2-4 02-18-2009 02:33 AM

Yes, I understand that, I do know where he is picking it up. It is just his use of the words.

What is getting me, is that we don't make a big deal out of it when he does use this language(at this point in his life anyway). We just respond as, much as possible, like we would to anything he says. And yet, he is just blurting them out at any given time.

DeBora4BobbyL 02-18-2009 04:08 AM

Karen, I bet 2-year-olds perceive bad language differently than we adults do.

I remember when my DD, who was a newborn infant, had to be taken to a nearby town by ambulance. My then, 3 yr old DS was left in the care of relatives. We were gone for a few days (we eventually discovered that she had severe allergies to polyester). We go to church and right there in front of everyone, my DS, stamps his foot and states, "D*mn-it." I was shocked. This continued for awhile. He acted as if this was nothing. I went to my father and grandfather because this was one of their favorite words. They swore that they didn't use this word in front of our DS. My DS finally almost stopped using the word, which was always accompanied with the stomping of his foot. It was like he picked up the mannerism that went along with it. We went on an outing with the in-laws, which included my BIL. We had a cook out. Then, BIL bumped something or got mad. At any rate, he stomped his foot and said this word! Then, my DS started doing this behavior over and over and over! I pointed my finger at my BIL and said, "YOU!" I figured out that it was my BIL that taught my DS this. DS eventually outgrew it. Toddlers pick up all kinds of behaviors from all the big people in their lives. They can be funny when they do it wrong. lol

If he is still doing this in a year, be sure to check with the doctor. If he does have TS, his symptoms will get worse. He will get grunts and squeeks and some sort of limp tic along with the verbal tics.

I am glad mine are grown. We do know that if my DS has children, there is a 50% chance that his children will develop TS.

jjoj 02-20-2009 06:00 AM

Wow, great info and advice, Deb. I think testing is really important too, because it could be a lot of different things. I used to teach in special ed and it is just way too easy to misdiagnose, so I would get a good, solid professional opinion. It would give you something to go on and peace of mind. I so hope it turns out to be nothing, Karen! ((hugs))

DeBora4BobbyL 02-20-2009 06:14 AM

JJOJ, what type of tests would you suggest? I am wondering at the age of 2, if he doesn't have any other behavioral problems, this may go away. If he was older or if he had other problems, he could take the Yale Children's Global Stress Index. There is also the WAIS and other tests for ADHD and such. But, like I said, a toddler picking up bad language may be normal and paying attention to it would just be reinforcing the behavior.

My DS, who has TS, never started out with the cursing and the cursing tics never lasted. Other children I worked with never started with the cursing either.

Karen, keep us posted on his development. My DD, the youngest, told me as an adult, what her brother tricked her into doing to get her into trouble. Siblings are like that. LOL

jjoj 02-20-2009 06:59 AM

Deb, yes, that is such a good point. They do outgrow lots of things. I was thinking more of talking to a good, trusted pediatrician at this age. A good one can keep an eye on any future problems, give advice, and referrals later, if even necessary. For knowledge and for the peace of mind, most importantly. Better than spending time being concerned if it's nothing, you know what I mean? Then again, I tend to be such a worry wart, so that's probably where I'm coming from. lol Take care and God bless!

RobertaD 02-20-2009 12:12 PM

DD2 started with tics at 5 yrs 4 months they started out as verbal tics (grunting, saying "crap" and "bugs" out of the blue) then would swival in the computer charge kicking the sides of the desk with no knowledge of doing it. We thought it was typical annoy your parent behavior.

When she was 5 yr 7 month when she started in with eye tics and loss of memory on what she was doing before the eye tic eppisode. I wrote a note to her teacher asking if this was happening at school (had 10 eppisodes within 2 min) and received a call within 20 min of school starting from the teacher. I had her in the doctor's office that day and was scheduled for an EEG in a month (helpful when you already see a Neurologist). We saw a new Neurologist (they are specialised) with the results of the tests that were run and I took a CD of DD2 that I had video taped her during her therapy sessions and at home from a recorder I borrowed from our pastor. She has now also been diagnoised with OCD and ADHD along with the Tourettes.

It is true that for a Tourettes diagnosis they have to have the "tics" for a year which can be verbal and physical.


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