I never knew this until recently, but tics are pretty common in children with sensory processing disorder.
How’d I find this out? Well, during the last two weeks of the summer MeMe underwent a sudden setback (nicer word than “regression”) and suddenly I realized that he was constantly twitching his nose. At first I thought he was doing it purposely to kind of push his glasses up. He had just started wearing glasses two months before and they had loosened and were constantly sliding down. I took him to get his glasses tightened and readjusted to fit him perfectly but he kept up the nose twitching. So I asked him about it, why he does it, and he tells me he doesn’t even feel himself doing it! It didn’t bother me much because I know there are worse tics and this one didn’t look so bad but I did some research and found out that many times when a tic disappears, it’s replaced by another. That made me kind of nervous but since there was nothing I could do about it, I decided to just drop the whole issue, try to forget it, and see what happens next.
It’s a few months later now and the nose twitching has vanished. I’m nervously anticipating some other kind of tic appearing, but again, I’m pushing those thoughts away. I don’t dwell on things I can’t do anything about.
Just to keep myself informed though, I researched the different kinds of tics and some of them are quite surprising! There are simple tics and more complex ones, and they are either motor-related or vocal.
Here are some simple ones:
Vocal tics: throat clearing, barking, sniffing, belching, coughing, hiccuping, yelling, coughing, making unusual sounds such as hissing, clicking teeth, animal sounds
Motor tics: blinking, kicking, arms flailing, head jerking, shoulder shrugging, tongue thrusting, jerking any part of the body, banging on a table, nose twitching
And here are some of the complex ones:
Vocal tics: repeating words or sentences, changing the pronunciation of words or tones of voice over and over, talking to oneself, cursing
Motor tics: flapping arms, grimacing, kissing, poking or pinching, shaking feet, jumping, adjusting clothing, gesturing with hands
This list is incomplete because even the experts can’t be sure what is truly a tic and what isn’t. What may be for one person may not be for another.
So… does your SPD child have tics? Share your experience and spread your knowledge!