Trying to do the best for my kid who has tics. My tics get worse around his tics. Please help before one of us explodes. : ADHD


I really hesitated over posting this, because I couldn’t find the words to convey the fullness of what I am trying to say, but I hope nobody will take this as negative or terrible. I’m genuinely looking for help.

My youngest son is just like me. He’s 10, and I can see all the traits of me at his age and I remember my struggles with EVERYTHING. I’ve been on medication for the last four years or so, and last year we started medicating him, too. (The thing that made the two of us choose that route was when he came home and said he hated himself for not being able to get his work done on time at school. The next day we went to the doctor and continued the discussion about putting him on a small dose of adderall, which we did, and the day he started his “focus pills,” he came home ECSTATIC because he “got all his work done before noon!” Definitely the right decision there, I think.)

Well, since he’s been on the medication, he’s developed tics. Now, I had tics when I was his age too – mostly just muscle twitches, sometimes a vocal grunting type of thing, like the air was being forced out by a diaphragm tic. I was repeatedly asked to “stop grunting” and I remember that. I try not to bother him about it when it happens, because, I mean, I’ve been there too and it sucks to be told over and over to control something you can’t. Sometimes I’ll have him focus on me and try breathing exercises to calm him down, but it rarely works. Here’s where the problem comes in – he’s been off medication for the entirety of school dismissal (like since March) and his tics have gotten worse.

He has a physical one where he flexes muscles in his arm and makes the armpit farting sound (which is kind of funny, actually, I can never make mine do that without a hand there), he grunts, he has to start sentences over almost like he’s stuttering, and he is very twitchy in general when it’s not those specific ones. When he tics, I start to tic. I can’t be in the same room with him or I get it pretty bad, and I keep wanting to tell him to stop but I know that’s not productive. I don’t want to be upset with him but sometimes the feelings happen before I stop them. I love this kid and all his quirks more than the entire world and I don’t ever want to be the reason he feels bad about himself.

What I’m asking is, are there any skills or advice that you’ve learned to help soothe these things? I would prefer as little medication as possible (because holy hannah is it hard to remember to take my OWN pills), but is it a possibility he’ll need another doctor’s appointment for different, ongoing medication? I know he’s going to be a wild mess of a kid for a while because he’s my kid, just like me, and is a very active boy, but is there anything that I can do to teach him how to deal with these things? Being stuck in the house with him 24/7 has been … well, my arm muscle where my main tic is is getting sore, and I’m beginning to feel the desire to light my hair on fire and it’s hard to type with my twitching.

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