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15 month old is shaking head involuntarily

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My 15 mo old son started shaking his head (as if saying no, but it's involuntary) about 2 weeks ago. I took him to the ped. and she referred him to a neurologist. Neurologist cannot explain why it is happening. A 20-min EEG showed normal results. Sometimes I think he does it when he's overstimulated; other times I cannot explain why. Has anyone had a child who has experienced same, and if so, does your child continue to shake head or has s/he outgrown it? Many thanks for any thoughts here,
Shelley
post #2 of 12


That is right around the age that the MMR vaccine is given..did he have it? If so, I would look into that much deeper...
post #3 of 12
Does the child seem to be developing normally otherwise? Does he show any other delays or worrisome behaviors? Has he begun to use a few words yet? Have you seen any regression in development, where he was making progress in language and communication before, but now he seems to be going backward?

If everything else seems normal, I'd maybe give it some time and see if it's maybe behavioral, and something he'll grow out of. My now-three-year-old used to engage in self-stimulating behaviors (humming, pacing, and head-rubbing) when she was worried or stressed, and we used to worry about autism, but she was so manifestly normal in other ways that we decided not to pursue that, and she grew out of it.

If there are any other issues, though, I might look for a second or third opinion, or look into a developmental evaluation to rule out developmental disorders.
post #4 of 12
I'm glad I saw your post...my DD also did this, it worried me a little, but I never got around to posting about it! She did it when she was over tired and sometimes when she was hyper, I can't pinpoint any other specific times when she did it, but it was kind of random, it sounds just like what you're explaining. I didn't notice any other changes around that time, she seemed totally normal, so I didn't worry too much, I think it only lasted about a month, it was when she was about 13 or 14 mos, she is now 17 mos and hasn't done it since. So if it is the same thing, maybe yours will grow out of it too? My thought was that maybe she was just realizing that her head was on the end of her neck and sometimes it wobbled?

Hopefully that helps!
post #5 of 12
There are several head-shaking posts around MDC (I think they are in the Life with Babe forum.) It is very common around this age. Several of my kids have done this and I wouldn't worry at all.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you all very much. Just some follow up to all of your questions:

Yes, I have read some of the other posts on this issue but they all seemed to be in younger babies (8 - 10 months).
Yes, he did get the MMR one week before this started happening. He gets one shot at a time, so vax are spaced out.
He did start to walk (a late walker) the same day this started, but I don't think it has to do with the walking because it always happens when he's not walking.
Language -- he only says 'dada' (no other words), although he understands a lot, follows directions, responds to his name, etc. The ped wants to see him at 16.5 months (rather than wait until 18 mo) to see if there has been any progress here.
I am concerned about language delay, along with this head shaking.

I really appreciate any and all input because it's scary (my first child).
post #7 of 12
How do you know it's involuntary?

Around that age my DS did lots of seemingly strange stuff -- head shaking, covering and uncovering his ears, squinting, blinking fast, etc. -- but I figured he was just realizing that he could manipulate his senses to make things sound/look different, and was having fun with that.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by spreston View Post
Thank you all very much. Just some follow up to all of your questions:

Yes, I have read some of the other posts on this issue but they all seemed to be in younger babies (8 - 10 months).
Yes, he did get the MMR one week before this started happening. He gets one shot at a time, so vax are spaced out.
He did start to walk (a late walker) the same day this started, but I don't think it has to do with the walking because it always happens when he's not walking.
Language -- he only says 'dada' (no other words), although he understands a lot, follows directions, responds to his name, etc. The ped wants to see him at 16.5 months (rather than wait until 18 mo) to see if there has been any progress here.
I am concerned about language delay, along with this head shaking.

I really appreciate any and all input because it's scary (my first child).
Oh my gosh, I think you may be me! My son is 15 months old, and just started this about a month ago. I don't think his is involuntary - he laughs like crazy when he does it. He also isn't walking (but is going to soon, I think) or talking (just dada).

My Mom said my sister did the same thing around the same age, so I haven't gotten too worried yet. I figure I'll mention it to his doc when we go next month.

Good luck to you!

Jen
post #9 of 12
Not a baby involved, but.. My 8 YO DS just started this as well. We knew it was involutary because he could tell us he wasn't aware of it at all -- had no idea what we were talking about until we put him in front of a mirror. Anyway, visit to ped suggested that it was just a tic -- nothing to be concerned about unless it got more violent. I was very relieved!
post #10 of 12
I feel like I'm stating the obvious and I'm sure you've checked it out but have they looked for an ear infection or has he been swimming or dunked in the bath?
post #11 of 12
Last month, my DD did this too! She was 14 months at the time. She did it three or four times within a two week period and I haven't noticed it since.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yes, definitely he's had his ears checked thoroughly by two different docs, and one also checked the pressure.

I can't explain how I know it's involuntary, but I just know it is. My ped also agreed that it is involuntary. It's not a fast motion or even a long one, but I don't believe he can control it.

Yesterday I had him at my sister's house and he got very excited about seeing their dog and one of my nieces, and he shook his head several times in a very short amount of time. Once he settled in, he didn't do it for the rest of the visit, and never did it for the rest of the day. This morning he didn't do it at home but did it once at the grocery store when a woman talked to him while he was in the cart. So now I'm back to wondering if it's new situations, new people, etc. that trigger it.

He has never had any reactions to vax, but of course I can't help but wonder about it when MMR was the week prior. That said, he's walking now and that was not happening before vax.

Again, a million thanks to all of you for taking the time to write.
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