Tourettes syndrome and its side effects are many. ADHD is just one of them.
To be honest it is hard to reveal what is what. Is the cursing bad behavior or is it tics? Is it just impulsive?
Tourettes syndrome is an neurobiological condition just like ADHD. Tics are words, sounds, behavior on repeat which the tourettes can’t control. Stress, joy, tiredness can increase the amount of tics. Tourettes syndrome and its side effects got major consequences for the child in every aspects.
Tourettes syndrome with addition
But it is a fact that these kids in addition to TS got ADHD/ADD, Anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsory disorder (OCD) and obsessive compulsory behavior (OCB). When the kid got his/her diagnose there is to much focus at the ADHD condition. The diagnose you can do something about is the ADHD. Some doctors just put them on medication like methylphenidate and that’s it!! Often they are put on medicine just to please the school and that is an ethical dilemma….
The benefit of medication is increased attention and maybe a calmer pupil. But what is the cost? Well, some tics even more. And in addition, an extreme anxiety which strike like lightning. I have previously written that ADHD medication can cause tics, and for a child with tourettes that is very unfortunately. https://wp.me/pb4jAC-1Z
The side effects of tics
Tourettes syndrome and its side effects are many, but the most famous are tics. They come in different strength and variety. The side effects of tic can be extremely painful because tourettes got such an impact on muscles, joint, skin and viscera.
Tics can be hardly noticeable like a wink, stretching a joint, finger or a toe. They can try to swallow air, rolling eyes and coughing, They can imitate others or repeat a word several times. On the other hand they can be very loud, got a bad but not intentional behavior. They can bite their finger nail so short, that the finger tips and the nail beds get extremely sore. Tics can be gnawing their fingers so much that they got wounds or friction wounds.
The side effects of tics can therefore be muscle- and joint pain, headaches, exhaustion and fatigue. Considering the exhaustion and fatigue they may have sleeping problems.
Additional side effects
Many of these kids are very rigid and at the limit to be called autistic. The rigidity is just a way to reduce the anxiety. So these children need a predictable day with no sudden change. Anxiety can cause a lot of anger and mortifying scenes, especially for the child when he or she has calmed down.
Obsessive compulsory disorder can come to surface when child wants things to be done in a specific order or way. Examples like the right sock before the left, right shoe before the left, just walk on the white lines in the pedestrian crossing, not mix the dinner on the plate and so on.
So why is the treatment ending with just a ADHD-medication in some hospitals? Well I don’t know, but in my mind this is a lack of knowledge of the doctor/ psychologist/ psychiatrist. The parents and school need counseling how to reveal the tics and act in a good way. It is wrong to punish a child for its tics. It is important that the child doesn’t feel useless, hopeless and unworthy. The self confidence and the self-esteem are basically poor.
These kids need a team around them all day long at school. Social skills are essential, and school is maybe the largest arena for that. Personally I find social skills to be more important subject than mathematics. And to prevent incidents like bullying, arguing and fights, there must be an adult just five steps away. I believe these interventions will in addition reduce the anxiety, depression and OCD.