Monday, August 25, 2014

So this is coprolalia

One of the most common misconceptions about Tourette Syndrome is that the main symptom associated with TS is cussing.  If you've read my previous posts, you know that the correct term for the use of words, phrases, and gestures that are deemed socially inappropriate is called "coprolalia", and that coprolalia is only present in about 10% of TS cases.  Tourette Syndrome is the presence of both motor and vocal tics, which does occasionally (but not in most cases) include coprolalia.

Sadly, coprolalia has made an appearance in our home.  Yesterday, Monster Man started with a sound of air blowing through his teeth.  Later in the afternoon, it turned into a "fu fu fu fu fu fu" sound.  He was trying hard not to let the full word come out of his mouth, and he was doing a good job holding it back.  It was a struggle for him, knowing that he needed to say a word that he knew he wasn't allowed to say.  He kept holding back, kept trying to find other things to change it into, but he reached a point that he could no longer keep it in.

Around lunch time today, I received a phone call from the school nurse.  Monster Man was in the clinic (where he's been spending a lot of time since the school year began), and he was having a major tic episode. No big deal, we thought.  She gave him some anxiety medicine and sent him back to class, our current plan in hopes to help him make it through the school day.  About an hour and a half later, I received another phone call.  His tics were getting worse, rather than better, and he'd been taken to the clinic in a wheelchair. This has also been a little more common lately, but it was also a sign that it was time for me to pick him up from school.  When I picked him up, I was greeted with the news that the "fu fu fu" sound had morphed into the word he was trying so hard to avoid saying.  In other words, coprolalia had officially made an appearance.  

It seems lately like each of his bad tics gets replaced by another.  It's heartbreaking to watch him struggle with these tics, and they can even be scary at times.  This latest tic, however, has been one that has hit us harder than any other.  Monster Man is upset that he's saying something that he would otherwise get in trouble for saying.  It's only been about an hour since he got home, and he's already shed quite a few tears of frustration.  I'd be lying if I said it hasn't brought me a few tears myself.

We shall see where this latest tic brings us.  We're working on replacement words, hoping these will help him for now.  In the meantime, prayers are greatly appreciated!

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