As I mentioned previously (in this post), I realized a couple weeks ago that Brooke was showing signs of facial twitches.
About two weeks ago she started blinking… a lot….super exaggerated blinking. When I first saw it I asked her what she was doing and she said she felt like something was in her eye, but not really, and she just constantly blinks. And she can’t stop it and doesn’t even know that she’s doing it.
For the first couple weeks of school, she was popping her jaw open really wide. Sometimes mid-sentence, sometimes when taking a breath before starting to talk, sometimes just for no reason. When I first noticed it and asked her about it, she said that her jaw felt tight and needs to be stretched. She couldn’t stop it and didn’t realize she was doing it.
I realized that the eye blinking seemed to replace her jaw opening. When I Googled those two things, it made me think of previous repetetive behaviors of hers- like at the end of last school year when she was sniffing all the time. She’d crinkle her nose and do an exaggerated sniff, while talking, while resting, just anytime. Not like a clear-your-nose-sniff, just a weird sniff.
My daughter has a Tic!
So then I started researching Tics, and it seems they will commonly appear when stress levels are high or when the child is overly tired. She doesn’t seem stressed, she leads a very balanced life with lots of playtime and free time, and some structure with MMA and school, her homework isn’t overwhelming, she has lots of friends, she is happy and full of energy all the time. She does stay up late though, and she would sleep in until 9am if I’d let her (she gets up at 5:45am on school days).
I decided to call her Neurologist and ask to be seen, especially since her “dreaming” episodes were back as well. They began in early March- best described “feeling like she’s dreaming when she’s awake, or like her surroundings aren’t real, or that she’s not really there” The Neurologist wanted to run a MRI when she was having one of these episodes, but we weren’t able to duplicate them consistently and they magically went away. Although we recently found out that Brooke was scared to have the testing done so she wouldn’t tell us when she was having them. We learned this about two weeks ago.
She seems to have them when she is nervous or overwhelmed or overly excited. During math, or when given a large sheet of information to read, or being at a birthday party where they have pony rides and she is feeling pressured to ride one when she really doesn’t want to, or even TALKING about these episodes.
Anyway- we go back to see the Neurologist on Oct 9th.
OH, and for a couple days she had a vocalized tic- making a weird screetching sound. So this points to possible Turets. I’ll keep everyone posted. From what I hear from talking to other parents, this often appears around age 9-10 and will slowly go away in the teen years. And it’s best to not talk about it or point it out to the child….
UPDATE: We did see the Neurologist who did confirm that Brooke does have a Tic Disorder, and until it has been a consistent year with symptoms it isn’t considered chronic. If she has another vocal epsidoe (clearing her throat or sniffing or making any type of sound) it will be classified as Turets (Turets simply means vocal AND motor, not just one).
She has a “sleep deprived” EEG scheduled during Christmas Break. This is because the dreaming thing is still happening.
I’ve noticed her tics are really extreme when she’s tired. And poor kid hasn’t been able to catch up on any sleep. I have her wear my Fitbit tracker to bed and she has about 15 restless periods each night totaling about 45 minutes of lost sleep.