Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gotta wonder

Knowing that Tourette Syndrome can be hereditary, it's hard to look at Angel Baby and Little Man without wondering if they, too, might have Tourette Syndrome like Monster Man does.  What makes us wonder even more is the fact that we know that both Angel Baby and Little Man have issues that can be comorbid with Tourettes.

Angel Baby, like Monster Man, is starting to go through puberty - a time that can increase the symptoms of TS.  While she has always had sensory issues (she and I both have a lot of problems with certain textures and sounds) and some problems with anxiety, we've started to realize that some of her other behaviors are actually tics.  She has recently started chewing on the inside of her lip more often, too, and she recently sang in a school competition while chewing her lip throughout the entire song.  She has always had a tendency to have temper tantrums, as well, and never outgrew it as she got older despite our best efforts to curve this behavior.  Things we previously had related to other health issues she's experienced are now being looked at in a new light, and it's hard not to think that she could have TS like her brother.

Little Man is much younger (5 1/2 years younger than Monster Man), so we don't see a pattern of behaviors changing for him like they have with his brother and sister.  We have, however, had to accept that he has OCD.  We kind of joked around about it before, laughing at how picky he was about how the velcro on his shoes was lined up or commenting on the way that he'd sort his M&M's by color before eating them, even when he was too little to know his colors.  Grocery shopping used to be a challenge if Little Man was with me; he'd straighten all the shelves within his reach while I was picking items off other shelves.  A trashcan lid that was out of place or a bottle of ketchup not standing in the right direction in the refrigerator could lead to a major meltdown if he wasn't given the opportunity to correct the situation immediately.  He's recently started having to have his shoes just perfect - not too loose, not too tight, and the velcro or shoelaces have to be done perfectly as well.  Last week, he decided to wear sandals (with 3 velcro straps per shoe!) and he spent over 15 minutes getting his shoes to feel and look right before I finally convinced him to just get on with our day (to which he actually started crying because I wouldn't let him finish his task!).  The only complaint his teacher has about him is that he can't seem to speed up his schoolwork because he takes so long trying to get each line of each letter perfect.

OCD, anxiety, tantrums that could equate to rage... They can all be comorbids to the tics of Tourette Syndrome.  It's so hard not to wonder if we're seeing signs of things to come with our other two children.

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