Tics In Children – 4 Causes & 4 Treatments You Should Be Aware Of

tics in children

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Tics can be horribly irritating especially when they attack harmless children. A variant of this is the transient tic disorder which affects close to 25% of children before they reach the age of 18.

A person may suffer from a particular kind of tic like a shoulder shrug that may last for a few minutes.

What Are Tics?

It is a repetitive, sudden movement or even a sound that becomes hard to control because of its nature. The tics that control movements are referred to as motor tics and the ones that control sound are called vocal tics. They can be of two kinds – complex or simple tics:

  • Simple motor tics refer to a single muscle group that gets affected.
  • Complex motor tics involve multiple muscle groups.
  • Complex vocal tics usually include meaningful speech as compared with simple vocal tics.
  • Complex motor tics are not as frequent or rapid when compared to simple motor tics and may even look like the person is performing the tic by himself.

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Tics are noticed easily by the onlooker, so initial diagnosis is often prompt and painless. Tics can be further diagnosed in the following ways:

  • A check-up with your doctor where he or she may ask your child several questions which could lead to diagnosing the problem.
  • Tests run by doctors could reveal if your child has tics; however, sometimes, tests may not reveal if he or she is suffering from tics.

Causes Of Tics In Children:

There are quite a few reasons why tics may appear in your child’s body. Tics may be caused by the following:

  1. Extreme stress that your child may be undergoing in school.
  2. The use of strong medication like Ritalin, Adderall or Tegretol may cause them.
  3. Certain brain infections may also cause tics.
  4. Genetic and metabolic disorders may cause tics.

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Most children suffering from tics do not require extensive treatment. However, there are some early therapy choices:

  1. Medication like Clondine (Catapress) can be used for the initial stages.
  2. Psychological counselling is also an effective remedy.
  3. Behavioural modification.
  4. Support groups also help as they expose your child to other children plagued with the syndrome.

The disorder usually ceases gradually, regardless of the effects.

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Measures On How To Control Tics In Children:

You definitely do not want tics to get worse but there are ways to make it better. Although there is no definite cure for tics, there are certain steps you can take to lessen the impact on your child:

  • Ask your child not to focus on it; do not make your child feel like he or she is suffering from a disease. Do not concentrate on it as attention on it could make things worse.
  • Ensure that you do not pressurize your child on anything beyond what he or she can bear — stress only makes tics worse.
  • Help your child complete his or her daily homework on time and do not push your child to do things beyond his or her capacity.
  • Ask your child’s friends to not treat him or her differently. Also, ask your child’s teachers to treat them like any other child in the class without any special favours.
  • Make sure that your child gets enough rest so that he does not face anxiety. Being tired can worsen tics in your child. Therefore, make sure that your child gets a full night’s rest!
  • Ask your child to let it out when he or she feels that they cannot take it anymore. Encourage him to vocalize what he or she is feeling instead of discouraging him from expressing it.

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While tics can be unbearable and can cause discomfort and embarrassment to your child, you have the power to change his way of thinking by not treating him differently. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about tic disorders in children.

We hope this article equipped you with the information you required to handle this disorder in the best way possible. If you have experience dealing with this issue, please leave your comments in the section below.

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