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Old 01-18-2013, 04:41 PM
 
1,644 posts, read 2,258,042 times
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I have been noticing that my 3.5 year old has a "tic" every time she is excited about something. She will move her arms in a spastic motion with her mouth open. It looks very odd and I am afraid other kids will begin picking up on it as she gets older. She does not know that she does this because if you ask her to do it she can't.

A little background on her: She never crawled went right to walking at around 6mos. Was very silent until around 2.5 years old all the words came out, although she does not talk around people she is not comfortable around. She has irrational fears, not just fears but terrified of certain inanimate objects. She also has weird interests like clocks and signage. She used to walk on her toes but has "grown out" of that. She is highly intelligent and has a photographic memory, you show her something once and it is remembered forever. We enrolled her in a nursery school for socializing and for the first few months she would just stare at the kids, but now she has been thriving and socializing and making friends. She is a very loving kid, she talks to us looking us in the eye, etc. Could she be borderline?

So with the tics and the above information I am concerned that once she starts prek she might be classified as something because of the tics and other unique behavior. Is there an easy way to break her of these movements? It is kind of like arm flapping but weirder. I just do not want her ostracized from other kids, they pick up on stuff when they get older. I have first hand experience with that.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:48 PM
 
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First of all, don't panic. We went through a similar stage with our middle son. He was terrified of loud noises. He was very empathetic regarding other people, and popular among his peers. In spite of that, we took him to a child psychiatrist to find out why he had developed these tics. His were facial, as well as involving arm and leg jerks. What we ended up with was a drugged boy.

We had to make the choice between the drugs (which left him lethargic), and learning how to cope with the teasing of his classmates. For that, we enlisted the school psychologist. What really made a difference in his school life was his teacher's little boy also developing tics. She wasn't only frantic, she was sympathetic.

We quit the drugs, and dealt with teasing as it arose. It probably took 3 years until the tics largely stopped on their own. We already knew it wasn't something serious like Tourette's and had been told tics are fairly common in children. I'd advise patience, and not making a big deal out of them unless they make her daily life difficult.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:56 AM
 
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Your little girl certainly isn't "borderline", if by that you mean borderline personality disorder. That's something else entirely.

This may be a developmental stage - since your daughter is clearly very bright, perhaps she just has difficulty getting the words out as fast as her thoughts. What does her pediatrician say? Have you discussed this with her teacher(s)?

In your case, I wouldn't try to "break" her of the tic - perhaps reminding her to slow down and take a deep breath would help, if she's excitedly struggling to get the words out. How long has this been going on? Please don't make her self-conscious about it - that would only worsen matters, I expect.

Her interests in clocks and signs may indicate that she'll be an early reader, as both clocks and signs have to do with decoding - does she enjoy having books read to her? Does she make up little stories of her own?
She sounds like a bright, very aware, focussed little girl who takes time to take things in before acting - and who has distinct, individual interests which may not be common to her peers. Nothing wrong with that!

As for the fear of inanimate objects, that's not unusual at her age. Are they associated with fear of the dark and reluctance to go to bed, perhaps? If so, try reading Hoban's "Bedtime for Frances" (one of many Frances books) and see how she reacts. Or give her a little squirt bottle filled with water and tell her it's for getting rid of the scary stuff - one squirt works wonders!

Good luck - she sounds like a great little girl.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Your little girl certainly isn't "borderline", if by that you mean borderline personality disorder. That's something else entirely.
I think she means borderline autistic in that post.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:39 PM
 
16,608 posts, read 19,040,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodSchoolols View Post
I have been noticing that my 3.5 year old has a "tic" every time she is excited about something. She will move her arms in a spastic motion with her mouth open. It looks very odd and I am afraid other kids will begin picking up on it as she gets older. She does not know that she does this because if you ask her to do it she can't.

A little background on her: She never crawled went right to walking at around 6mos. Was very silent until around 2.5 years old all the words came out, although she does not talk around people she is not comfortable around. She has irrational fears, not just fears but terrified of certain inanimate objects. She also has weird interests like clocks and signage. She used to walk on her toes but has "grown out" of that. She is highly intelligent and has a photographic memory, you show her something once and it is remembered forever. We enrolled her in a nursery school for socializing and for the first few months she would just stare at the kids, but now she has been thriving and socializing and making friends. She is a very loving kid, she talks to us looking us in the eye, etc. Could she be borderline?

So with the tics and the above information I am concerned that once she starts prek she might be classified as something because of the tics and other unique behavior. Is there an easy way to break her of these movements? It is kind of like arm flapping but weirder. I just do not want her ostracized from other kids, they pick up on stuff when they get older. I have first hand experience with that.
I am not sure what you describe is a *tic* although it is possible. If it is a true tic, it is unlikely that you can keep her from doing it and if this one goes away, something else might take its place. Children this age often have motions that happen when they are excited and then grow out of them as well. You could video her doing it and show that to your pediatrician and see what he says about it.

She does not sound borderline autistic from what you say above. It is unlikely that she would be classified on the basis of her fears or her quirky interests. I would suggest addressing the fears though, just to help her with her feelings. The article below is a good one for that.

Easing your preschooler's fears | BabyCenter
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:28 PM
 
2,779 posts, read 4,855,922 times
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OP, I hope you're still around. My son (who is now 6) has had tics since he was 2.5. They have ranged from a throat clearing noise to a strange facial grimace. He is considered highly gifted and also has ADHD.

Here's something i never knew until our son...tics are common among toddlers and young children. Less common in girls but up to 10% of boys will have a transient tic at some point. Almost all go away by puberty. Sometimes it is comorbid with something like ADHD but usually transient tic disorder is just a quirk of childhood and goes away.

Also, my son has some social difficulties. Not only the ADHD but the giftedness make it difficult for him to interact well with other kids so if your daughter is very bright she may be a little socially awkward as well...thats just kind of part of it sometimes.

Best of luck!
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