Thursday, May 16, 2013

Early signs of Tourette Syndrome

I often get asked how early on that I started seeing signs of Tourette Syndrome in Monster Man.  I always knew that he was a little 'different', but didn't quite know what was making him different until he was older.  Somewhere around the end of first, we do know that he started having some problems that we associated with allergies.  For a long time, we didn't realize that they could be anything else other than allergies, which he'd struggled with since he was a toddler.  For that reason, we're not really sure when the TS symptoms started and how many of his symptoms were TS related rather than allergy related.

It's with good reason that we so were so easily able to mistake signs of TS as being allergies.  Tics of the eye are often among the first motor tics, and the most common one is eye blinking.  Tics of the head and fact are often very common early motor tics.  Early vocal tics often include throat clearing and sniffing.  Monster Man had the eye blinking, throat clearing, and sniffing long before he had any other tics... all very common allergy symptoms.

There are also many complex motor tics that can be common closer to the onset of Tourettes symptoms.  These can include touching, thrusting of the arms and legs, and jumping.

It's important to remember that no two cases of Tourette Syndrome are exactly the same.  What can be early symptoms in some people may not show up at all in others.  Two people may share one or two of the same tics, but have a much larger list of tics that they don't have in common.  It's also important to realize that these early signs are just the most common, and that some people experience different tics than those listed early on.

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