Thursday, October 12, 2006

Is It TS or Just Being Six?

At this early stage, it's so hard to tell if The Boy is tic'ing or just being a six year old. If you've read previous posts, you'll recall I said something to the effect of, if you put 100 six year olds in a room, most of them would be twitching, twiddling, clicking, grunting or something else. It's like a miniature glance into puberty - your body isn't under your control and you're usually full of incredible amounts of sugar.

So The Boy has allergies. This means sinus drip. This means disgusting stuff dripping down the back of your throat. This means you clear your throat. Constantly. But there are times when you can just tell The Boy is clearing his throat for sinus drip and then there are times you can tell it's not quite under his control. Then there are those times you can't tell which is the cause. But clearing throats doesn't really bug me.

One of the other attributes The Boy tends toward is difficulty in recognizing and implementing social limits. Is this TS or is this just The Boy being The Boy? I know a lot of 6 yr olds that have way too many social limits because of shyness or overbearing parents always tapping them on the shoulder so they can give them that slight disapproving glare that means, "Quit it!" I know a lot of 4 & 5 yr olds that are just as exuberant and in-your-face as The Boy. They haven't picked up on the subtle body language thing yet. Backing away from them just translates to, oh wow, I can step toward you more! I have been led to believe that, by 1st grade, most kids have started recognizing these social signals and are getting better at understanding and implementing boundaries. So, The Boy is a bit behind in this. Or so I'm told. I might just be being a typical blinded-by-love mom here, but I like innocent exuberance better than kids that are afraid to do anything because they're afraid they'll screw something up or get a tap and a glare. I dunno. This of course is coming from someone that used to walk up to people and say, "You and I seem to have [fill in subject here] in common. We should be friends." I have made quite a few good friends that way.

The blinking and eye rolling is still happening and it's definitely not under his control. But there are just certain sounds he makes that I'm not ready to chalk up to TS every time I hear them. There is an interesting little squeaky noise he makes when peeing that cracks me up. But again, I'm not ready to wave the TS flag at that one.

On another note, I have way too much saved on my DVR. One of the things I have saved is the HBO documentary "I Have Tourette's But Tourette's Doesn't Have Me". I mentioned this before. I had decided not to show it to The Boy because the kids in there range from very mild to very severe cases. I didn't want The Boy to think, oh, this is what must happen to me. So it's still on the DVR because Hubby wants to check it out. SO...the other day, we're scrolling through our recorded items list to find something for The Boy and he sees that title. "What's that?" he asked. So I told him about it. He wanted to watch it. I was hesitant but thought, why not. So he watched it. I asked him what he thought and he told me he wasn't very interested. If "not interested" means his eyes never left the TV and he stayed to watch the whole thing, then yah, he must not have been very interested. It's a great documentary but is hard because some of the kids explain that they have a really hard time at school or socially or whatever. Some of the home video makes you wonder how some families survive this. But The Boy watched it and hasn't had any questions since then. But I have to tell you what a sap I am. At the end, they wrap things up and then give you little updates on each of the kids you saw. And while they're doing this with pictures and text, they're playing this version of "Tomorrow" from Annie. A song I learned to hate long ago because I grew up in the NY/CT/NJ tri-state area and had to listen to commercials for "Annie" on broadway ALL the time. But this version was really good and it fit the update so much and I sat there watching my son who has TS as he's watching the updates with lots of interest. And it was just all too much for me. It's one thing to watch a documentary like that by yourself. But watching my kid watch it - I don't know how to describe it. I was watching him watch something that may or may not happen to him. I'm sure there is way more fear in ME than in him. But it got me. And I had to walk into the bathroom to cry. I came out to find Hubby doing the same thing. But in the end, we both just grabbed The Boy and hugged him and told him he's so awesome and he wiggled away to go do computer time, wondering, "Why are my parents so weird?"


diane said...

Oh Lynette.....I just want to give you a great big hug and tell you what an awesome mom Liam has..( and Dad...can't forget Wright)
I cried too when I read your account of watching Liam watch that show. Loved the comment about why are my parents so weird!
I share the whole "clear my throat over and over thing" with Liam too.
mucho love to you guys

Kendra said...

Being a parent had got to be the hardest, best, most emotionally challenging and amazing job all in one, huh? Thanks for sharing and being honest. You are both doing a phenomenal job with your children. Keep on walkin'!
love you