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Help! My Son Snaps 24/7

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Our pediatrician offers advice for a mom whose son has a nervous twitch.

boy snapping his fingers

One of our readers in the momlogic community asks:

My 8 yr. old son has a twitch and I don't know what to do about it! He's had a few in the past, but this one is a doozy -- he snaps with both hands all the time. We know it's involuntary and are careful not to call attention to it. But his sister -- angelic most of the time -- has no patience for it and is passive aggressively letting him know it's driving her crazy. Any suggestions????????

Momlogic pediatrician Dr. Cara responds:

These twitches (also sometimes called tics) can be completely normal. I agree with this mom that ignoring them is the best first approach. But if they are bothering him or disrupting his life--if his schoolmates are distracted or his sister cannot tolerate them--then they may become a source of teasing. I would suggest talking to the teacher to see if thy happen during school. Also talk to coaches or supervisors at after school programs.

You will want to make sure that the various adults in his life are approaching the situation in a consistent way. If the tics are persistent and creating a problem, or if they are associated with any other symptoms, this may be something worth mentioning to the pediatrician. And if you discover that they only occur at home, they may simply represent a subconscious way of provoking his sister.

next: Parenting from the Gut
1 comments so far | Post a comment now
seriously? February 17, 2009, 11:05 AM

I am no doctor, but it sounds like he could have some sort of problem like Tourette’s. I’d have him checked out.

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