Humming/throat clearing/eye blinking - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-09-2013, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not really a "gifted" question, but do any of your kids do this (have done this in the past)? My DS6 hums, clears his throat, occasionally has rapid eye blinking, and otherwise makes some funny noises. It comes and goes- we used to notice the humming as a build up to a tantrum/freakout when he was in preschool.

 

Seemed like he had gotten over the noise making and eye blinking, but as of the last few weeks it's back full force. I can't figure out the trigger (maybe hidden anxiety that he's not discussing?).  No other "stim" behavior, and as far as we're aware, no autism, ADHD, etc. I'm not necessarily worried, except that I wonder if he has some sensory issues that we need to address or if this is a sign of anxiety? 

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#2 of 6 Old 08-09-2013, 08:34 PM
 
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My youngest always has some physical habit or tick sort going on. It was most pronounced as a toddler/preschooler. The most recent was this weird neck cracking thing that we sort of scared him into stopping. Before that, it was a constant need to push his hair to the side, even when we got it cut out of his eyes. He went through a stage where he constantly pulled his pants up even with a belt. He went through a drumming stage... that was fun. He did the humming thing for awhile with a stage of throat clearing too. We used to really ride him about it but while it would stop one habit, it would only be replaced by another. I've decided the trick is for him to find something that is not bad for his body and not going to get him shoved in a locker but satisfies whatever need he has for that repetitive, sub-conscience action. 

 

He went through OT when he was 5 for a host of sensory issues and it helped tremendously but he's 12 and it's still there. 


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#3 of 6 Old 08-09-2013, 09:25 PM
 
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I have one kiddo who does the throat clearing (DS age 12) ... typically when he is doing something like reading... but it can be at other times too (does have some anxiety, but mostly managed now (no meds or anything for anxiety). DS is HG.

 

I have another kiddo who does the eye blinking thing... like real deliberate eye blinking... almost like a wink with both eyes. He does this when he is explaining something... in detail. He also hums when he is eating (but says it is because he is happy). And smells his fingers, which I guess is a tic, too. He has some ADHD traits, and has been referred for evaluation.
 


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#4 of 6 Old 08-10-2013, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I looked up a bit of information after asking the question- apparently, if it doesn't last for a long period of time, and is simple (vocal (e.g. throat clearing) or motor (e.g. eye blinking)) it may be a transient tic.

 

http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/transient-tic-disorder/overview.html

 

It's actually quite common- affecting around 25% of children at some point- usually boys. A temporary tic doesn't necessarily mean that there are other issues- unless it becomes complex and lasts for a long period of time. Then, it might be a sign of Tourettes and/or something else like ADHD if it is accompanied by behavioral problems. 

 

The reasons for the tics are unknown, except that anxiety can play a role. My son definitely exhibits signs of moderate anxiety, and indicated that there was some bullying and difficult social situations at his camps (when we noticed it ramping up). 

 

Coincidentally (mentioned by another poster), he also does the eye blinking (one eye winking seemingly involuntarily) when he's trying to explain in detail. 

 

I read that we're not supposed to bring attention to the tics because it may make it worse- but yes, I also worry that they will cause some bullying. He will often run through the local playground making noises, and kids are starting to look. 

 

I brought it up on the gifted board because it seems that so many gifted children have some sensory, anxiety, or ADHD or Aspergers symptoms. 

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#5 of 6 Old 08-10-2013, 08:50 AM
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Eye blinking/winking can be a manifestation of eye fatigue--he may need glasses or sunglasses.

Throat clearing can be a manifestation of silent acid reflux.  

(Of course, sometimes it's neither of those things.)

 

Make sure he is not getting any artificial dyes in his diet--those can exacerbate tics. 

 

My ds clears his throat more when he is really excited.  


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#6 of 6 Old 08-10-2013, 12:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CamMom View Post

I looked up a bit of information after asking the question- apparently, if it doesn't last for a long period of time, and is simple (vocal (e.g. throat clearing) or motor (e.g. eye blinking)) it may be a transient tic.

 

http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/transient-tic-disorder/overview.html

 

It's actually quite common- affecting around 25% of children at some point- usually boys. A temporary tic doesn't necessarily mean that there are other issues- unless it becomes complex and lasts for a long period of time. Then, it might be a sign of Tourettes and/or something else like ADHD if it is accompanied by behavioral problems. 

 

The reasons for the tics are unknown, except that anxiety can play a role. My son definitely exhibits signs of moderate anxiety, and indicated that there was some bullying and difficult social situations at his camps (when we noticed it ramping up). 

 

Coincidentally (mentioned by another poster), he also does the eye blinking (one eye winking seemingly involuntarily) when he's trying to explain in detail. 

 

I read that we're not supposed to bring attention to the tics because it may make it worse- but yes, I also worry that they will cause some bullying. He will often run through the local playground making noises, and kids are starting to look. 

 

I brought it up on the gifted board because it seems that so many gifted children have some sensory, anxiety, or ADHD or Aspergers symptoms. 

 

 

Yeah, it is definitely something to be aware of... This sent me down a rabbit hole looking for other information last night... and I found finger smelling is a tic as well! My younger kid (the eye blinker) also does this... the interesting thing is, he hasn't really been blinking or smelling fingers almost all summer. Which makes me think that it is exacerbated by school. He is in a montessori school, but had a really tough year last year (he was in the 3rd grade, the oldest in the classroom). He was pretty bored and the teacher just dismissed it as being lazy/not wanting to work. :( it was tough and I didn't want him to go back to that school. But now he really wants to go back for 4th grade... he is on the waiting list for another school and every day I hope and pray that they call with a spot for him.

 

I just plan on being on top of the new teach/classroom situation and just pulling him if it gets bad again. I work and can't really homeschool at this point, but would figure something out rather then repeating last year.

 

edit to add: my younger child is also highly disgraphic. he can write, but still reverses letters and ... it just looks difficult for him to write. but he will spend hours doing fine motor activity such as complex beading, legos, etc.


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