I looked back at Isaiah from the front seat because a movement caught my eye.
“What ya doing, Izze?”
“It’s just my tic mom.”
“What’s your tic telling you to do?”
“It’s telling me to lock and unlock.”
We’re at a stoplight so I look behind me and sure enough his hands are making a locking and unlocking motion like he’s holding a key.
“Mommy, are you mad at me because of my tic?”
“What?! No!!! I love your tic!”
“What? You do? Why?”
“Because your tics are so cool! They do the coolest things and make you totally special and unique and I love it!”
My Kid Has A Tic
Isaiah’s tic started when he was 4 1/2 which is pretty early for tics to start. Even though they are fairly common in boys, they tend to start at 6.
I couldn’t get any good answers from his pediatrician. So I switched pediatricians to one who would listen, who also was concerned that they started so young and who helped get me get in to see a top neurologist. You are your child’s only advocate – never forget that.
Isaiah’s tics were also not common tics like face twitches or even eye rolling. Isaiah had what they called “large movement tics.” His whole body was involved, and the answers I got from the internet scared the heck out of me. So let this be a lesson to you, when you are scared about something going on with your kid NEVER GOOGLE IT! My Dr. told me, I didn’t listen. I wish I had.
4 years later, Isaiah still has a tic. The Neurologist says he’s cool. He has no other worrying symptoms.
He did tell me something interesting. They know very little about Tic Disorders. What they do know is they involve the Basel Ganglia, a part of the brain that is still quite a mystery and also involved in Sensory Processing Disorder, Spectrum Disorders and ADHD. He had Isaiah see a whole panel of specialists who deemed him “normal” minus the Sensory Processing Disorder, however this, our favorite Dr, doesn’t worry about Sensory Processing Disorder. It doesn’t keep Isaiah from living a normal life, and that is his main concern.
Isaiah does funny things like quietly repeating things he hears on TV. He moves his hands in front and behind himself like the tequila dance from Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure, and his current incarnation is that he rubs his hands over his face, even more when he is nervous or excited. It also gets worse when he’s in front of a screen for a long time.
The thing about tics is; they can and do change. One day he can be rubbing his hands down his face 5 times in a row, another day he can be looking behind himself a few times every 5 minutes. There were days recently when he actually turned all the way around, it kind of sucked because he kept losing at his video game.
Today I asked him what his tic felt like, he said, “It feels like the buggies inside my body are sending troops to destroy the evil Tic Monster. But they can’t do it, he’s just too strong for them. When the evil Tic Monster plays his evil piano, I have no choice but to destroy him.”
Well, there you have it. The Evil Tic Monster’s got nothing on him!