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New.. 5 yo with SPD & Tourette's?

Posted by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM
  • 12 Replies

I did post this on the SPD board too, but looking for some input...

This is long, I apologize. DS is 5, and he's seeing a pediatrician tomorrow, but we're wondering if a) he may have Tourette's and b) after talking to someone else, if he may have SPD. 

The history: back in March he started this weird throat clearing thing. It was bad, happening many times a minute, we took him to a doctor but she said that he probably just had post nasal drip. After a few months it went away. It came back in mid-July, after about a 2 month break. Similar, but somewhat different (sounds more like a harsh cough/throat clear noise, louder, you can see it here:

Long story short, after almost 3 more months with 3 more trips to the doctor we've tried nasal sprays, allergy meds and puffers and nothing has helped (they thought asthma/allergies). We've also noticed that he sometimes blinks a lot, really fast, especially if he's upset/angry, has a face scrunch thing he does and has recently started a little humming noise at times.

Anyways, looks very likely that he may have Tourette's. In the meantime when I was talking to a woman she picked up on a couple other things I mentioned and asked if he's ever been evaluated for SPD. I found a checklist and the ones he has are:


- doesn't like having hair brushed or washed (trying to wash his hair at best involves covering his face with a towel and him shaking while you do it, at worst he has a crying fit. At one point he went through a 3 month phase where he completely refused to get in the tub). 

- wipes off kisses (but will sometimes ask us for kisses)

- HATES bandaids, gets very upset if you have to put one on (cries, fights it), doesn't like anything sticky put on him.

- very ticklish

- socks often bother him, will only wear certain ones

- while he will now brush his teeth it's only been in the last year, before that it was apparently torture

- is sensitive to hot/cold temperatures


- terrified of public toilets, it's very hard to even get him to go in a public washroom and when he does he won't use the toilet, no matter how bad he has to go.

- is upset by loud, sudden noises - will cover his ears, cry, or ask to leave. At the circus they had a trick bike, and it was so sad, he covered his ears, sat on my lap literally shaking and crying... but wouldn't leave because he wanted to watch! lol... He also refuses to go skating because he's afraid that they'll blow the horn - the one they use when goals are scored in hockey. Our washer & dryer are in our bathroom, and he will NOT use the bathroom if the dryer is on, it has to be shut off first.

- Asks other people to be quiet (which is hilarious since he has a loud volume)

Oral Input: 

- Very picky eater, sensitive to temperature of his food - will not eat any food that is hot/warm, has to be cold or lukewarm, hates trying new foods

- Has issues with swallowing certain meats (beef, pork)

- Scared of dentist

- HATED toothpaste. It's only been the last few months that he's started using it. Would cry and refuse to brush his teeth. 

Anyways... I'd like your thoughts. Does this sound like SPD? If it does, where do we go from here? What do we request - for him to see? Any tests to be done? Are there therapy options?

And does it sound like Tourette's? Are there therapies, diets etc... we can try, without having to medicate him?

by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 2:15 PM
I do not know Tourette's to be honest so I wouldn't be able to tell you but good luck on getting a diagnosis.
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by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

My son was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at the age of 5. My first suggestion would be to journal everything you see. Then find a good neurologist who knows TS. There are no tests for TS. In order to be diagnosed with TS, a child has to have a motor and vocal tic for over a year at a time. I am not sure about SPD, but I am sure the neuro can.

by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 7:28 PM
Sounds like SPD. Alot of that sounds just like my son.
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by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 8:56 PM
That does sound like SPD. Im not sure about the throat clearing or blinking though. I don't have any experience with Tourette.
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by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Is your son verbal?  I am just asking because my son is non-verbal and he does the blinking of eyes and throat thing--and that means his foliculitis is acting up (in grown hair in skin) and making him itchy and throat thing means he is thirsty but is not asking appropriate way for  drink and humming means he is toning something out or he is singing or reading along--My son for sure has sensitivy issues but never diagnosed with that--

Hope you find answers soon!

by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 12:15 PM

It sounds more like SPD but each child is different in that area. My son had PDD-NOS and has some sensory issues. He makes a sound with his mouth when is playing with his star wars toys, he doesn't like socks at all it's a battle to get them on him and I have to take labels off of all his clothes. Make an appointment to see developmental pediatrician for help with this. Good luck to you and your son :-) 

by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 12:22 PM
I have a friend with Tourettes. He has nearly constant tics. I believe he takes meds to control the tics and the involuntary shouting some people do; I have never heard him do that. As a child he had horrible allgeries also. Your child sounds like mine: that is he has sensory issues. But it never hurts to check.
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by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 1:04 PM

We saw the doctor and his diagnosis is Tourette's with SPD. He's sending a referral right away for my son to start speech and occupational therapy. He's great verbally, but he has problems with volume control (hence the ST).

by Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 1:24 PM

My 5 year old grandson was dianosed with SPD 2 years ago and also diagnosed with low muscle tone.  He has a throat noise too.  Therapy has done wonders for him.  He is still a very picky eater even though he had an eating therapy class.  But he is starting to try more things.  He did a few things that his parents suspected might be Autism and were put on a long waiting list for him to be tested.  Finally had him tested and it turned out he had ADHD and mild aspergers.  Once they got his ADHD diagnosis they started him on meds.  And what a difference it has made.  He was able to progress into kindergarten as he should be.  Get all the tests you can to be sure you get the proper diagnosis.  Our little guy is doing great since getting the proper treatments.  Let me know if I can help.  Sometimes just one little question being answered can be a great help.

by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM
Wow you story is very close to what I have gone threw with my son . We also started with a hum in the throat and blinking . We took him to the doctor and got eye drops and nose spray . It would also come and go . Over time he picked up new habits that he would do repeatedly . I took him to a doctor thinking he had OCD . I would ask him why he did these things . He said he just had to if he tried to stop it would burn and feel like his head would explode . The doctor thought it might be tourette syndrome . I was shocked . So we then started our journey of how to make my son more confertable . One neurological doctor just said yup je has it. Put him on Ritalin . Well if you look up Ritalin and tourettes it can make tics worse . So I wouldn't do that . So I did a lot of resherch online and started to take things in to my own hands . He started seeing a behaivor therapist , and doing neurofeedback . The neurofeedback did seem to help . But the biggest thing was when I read about kids with tourettes being chemically sensitive to things like air fresheners pesticides and predestines and dyes in food . I started restricting him from chemical every thing and paying attention to things that made his tics worse . Well believe it or not after a while no tics . Just recently my husband sprayed some spots in the house with this bug killer . It is for homes supost to be safe . My son has now had a head jerking tic the last 3 days . So from what I see the chemically sensitive thing just might be the answer . It is not easy but well worth the effort
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