Tourette's and misbehaviour

Amy - posted on 03/25/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My 10 year old son has been diagnosed with ADHD ODD CD and minor non-intrusive OCD. We have tried medication on medication and while some deal with some issues, the major ones seem to continue. Aggressiveness and bullying are one of the main ones I am having to deal with. My son is a bright, smart, intelligent boy. But when he gets into his moods, usually with the flip of the coin, it's like I have lost my son. A couple of weeks ago he was showing noticeable signs of Tourette's. Motor tics and recently grunting. The psychiatrist diagnosed him and put him on yet another drug. My question is this. How do I discipline my son when he has aggressiveness due to his Tourette's? Is it a symptom even? I think on the lines of someone with severe epilepsy. I may be overstepping bounds here but anyway. If a child has a violent seizure and destroys school property or hurts another person, are they disciplined or excused? Are they suspended? I feel very protective and yet at times I feel over-protective. This is an ongoing problem I am having. Everyday I wait by the phone praying it won't ring and be the school principle. And this stress does, in no way, help my daughter to grow healthy. I don't want to abandon my son to his father. That would make things worse for him. He already has an almost paranoid need to be always touching me in some way. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks for listening.

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Amy - posted on 03/25/2013

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Amy, I totally understand what you're going through. Without making this comment too long, I want to tell you about my son. He is 15 and was diagnosed with Tourette's when he was about 5. He was first diagnosed with ADHD because we were having so many behavioral problems with him, including fits of rage which made his sisters afraid of him. We tried 4 different ADHD medicines, desperate to get help for him and for our sanity. He then started showing signs of Tourette's (both motor and vocal tics) which became very severe. Upon seeing a neurologist, who diagnosed him, we found out that ADHD medicines are the worst thing you can do for a child with Tourette's. He took him OFF the medicine he was currently taking and put him on Tenex and Reglan. One helps with impulse control and one helps with tics. He is doing so well at 15 most people can't tell he has it unless he is under a lot of stress or trying too hard to control it for too long a period of time. The medications have slowed him way down physically but made him able to have a life. And a good relationship with his sisters. He is a totally different child. He is an amazing young man, really my most helpful and respectful child (I have 5), with a wonderful sense of humor.
All this to say, there is hope. My advise to you is to take him to a neurologist instead of a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist we saw while trying different meds in the beginning-who I asked if it was possible that he had Tourette's, to which he responded "no, I don't think he has that"-just wanted to increase his ADHD meds, which I already knew was causing him problems. He most likely needs to come off the ADHD meds or you will not be able to get his Tourette's under control. But you cannot quit them cold turkey. Good luck to you. Saying a prayer for you!

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