My 10 year old son has been “exploding” for years. He kind of zones out, walks in circles, holds his hands in front of his body and moves them around like you would describe an “explosion.” Only – faster, and with sound effects, and for as long as I would let him. Sometimes it’s fine to go on and on. I usually don’t interrupt him unless there is a situation like crossing a street – I tell him he has to keep his head up. Or maybe it’s time to come eat dinner – it takes a couple of calls to get him there, and it’s hard to keep him from doing it at the table.
He used to *not* do it at school. I asked his teacher about 6 months ago if he was. He said that there was none of that going on in the classroom. I was relieved to hear that, and thought that maybe it was really just a “kid” thing. His teacher let us know that he now was seeing the behavior in the classroom. It’s in busier times of the day, not every day, but he will just wander off into a corner while the rest of the class is working in groups or something (not while the teacher has everyone quiet) and do his thing. His teacher has just observed and asked if we wanted to have the school psychologist come in and do an observation.
He also does this thing that actually does drive me nuts. He has to forcefully push the air out of his nose – almost as hard as if he was blowing it for real. He will do this for minutes and minutes and minutes until the rest of the family tells him to GO BLOW YOUR NOSE! But most of the time, there’s nothing there and he just gets mad for having to stop what he’s doing and go blow. He tells me that it’s “really uncomfortable” to not do it. I’ve tried to understand what that means – but now, maybe it’s a tic? Not an unconscious habit, but something that if he does not do make him “really uncomfortable.”
He’s in 4th grade. He was tested in the 2nd grade and we moved him to a school for the highly gifted. Turned out, many of the highly gifted actually suck, and the education wasn’t exactly stellar either, so we brought him back to the school he had been attending K-2nd. His teacher is amazing. He’s got friends. So far these “tics” haven’t seemed to cause him any social problems.
So, how does one develop tics? From reading, it seems that stress/anxiety seems to exacerbate many people’s tics. Do you have relaxation techniques that you use to sort of – please don’t misinterpret what I am about to say – control feeling “really uncomfortable”? I truly understand that these are real and not habits that you can just *stop*. But, have you learned if you have triggers that seem to get you into a pattern. Like, if you have testing or evaluations at work, does that make you anxious and therefore cause you to need to satisfy feelings that under other circumstances you might not have to do so? Does that make sense?
Any suggestions, help, thoughts (kind thoughts please), would be greatly appreciated. If there are things that we could be doing now that would offer him more control and confidence in the coming years, that would be amazing.