Paging Mr. Monk…Paging Mr. Adrian Monk…

We’ve all seen kids do it…the rapid eye blinking, the mouth stretching, the seeming inability to stop themselves from reaching out and smacking their sibling for no apparent reason. I bet in about 90% of the situations, these are simply nothing more than little ticks and habits that a child picks up and then mysteriously drops after a few days or weeks.

But what if it’s more?

When I was little, I had a number of these little quirks. I did the eye blinking thing on and off for years. I bit my nails terribly (still do, though to a lesser degree). I rocked and banged my head against a wall as an infant, not unlike some children suffering from autism. I worried about things, which then I thought it was normal, but as an adult, I’ve discovered that it’s not so common for seven year olds to internalize their parent’s financial situation.

Even today, I count letters and syllables of words and sentences in my head. I count them in a pattern like this: numbers

Kinda weird huh?

I’ve stopped doing a lot of these things, but there are still some things that I do that just aren’t normal. I have a burning need to do things equally, so much so that if I try NOT to do it, I dwell on it until I can’t stand it anymore and then I succumb. Luckily for me, most people would never know it and in fact, I’m not sure CareerMom does.

But recently, MLI has started the eye blinking thing. I knew it immediately for what it was, and knew that he needed rest and he needed to know he was doing it, without being reprimanded for it. CareerMom thought he could control it and she scolded him a couple of times before I explained to her that it was completely outside of his control in the long term and that we would just have to let it run its course.

But still, this being the information age and all, I did what everyone does when they need help–I got on the Internet and did a search on eye blinking. I found pretty much what I already knew, but I also found several references to this being just one symptom of Tourette’s.

Now I’m not one to find a illness/syndrome/disease online and apply it to my own situation, but the more I read about it, the more similar some of my “quirks” fit the “mild form of Tourette’s” bill. Many of them are classic Tourette’s, and apparently it’s genetic and far more commonly passed onto boys than girls. Apparently girls more often get OCD and boys get Tourette’s. Since I’m adopted, I don’t know anything about my father’s health, so I can’t do a regressive investigation. But so far, it’s fascinating.

In most cases, and certainly in mine, the child will outgrow the symptoms in the majority of the cases, but I must say that putting a name to my own oddities (even if it’s not the correct diagnosis) sort of puts me at ease and will at least alert me to what I should look out for with my own kids.

But don’t worry, if ever you come to Roswell, GA and we get together for wings or whatever, I won’t go all “What About Bob” on you and start screaming obscenities! Copralia is a very rare symptom…

Course…if I happen to be watching my College Football team when we’re together…(ROLL TIDE!)

6 thoughts on “Paging Mr. Monk…Paging Mr. Adrian Monk…

  1. Craig

    Ditto with our five year old son on the eye blinking, although tics that started appearing in June are now more frequent and severe and more tics appearing every week. We’re trying to make sense of it all and suspect tourette syndrome.

    RE: I hope that’s not what it is for his and your sake. I did see several instances where low doses of medication seem to help. Nobody wants to put their child on meds at that age, but if it gets too bad, it may be an option. Good luck and God Bless!

  2. #1 of 5 has a moderate case of Tourette’s Syndrome. Has had tics since forever.. He has motor and verbal tics… They do not come out as profanity (he does that just find on his own…)

    It is one of the most frustrating things to have to deal with… both for him, and for the rest of the family…

    RE: REALLY! Who knew? Have you guys gone the medication route and if so, did it help?

  3. romi41

    awww…you were a 7 year old who internalized your parents financial situation??? I’m so sorry about that but at the same time I can’t help but smile a little 🙂 Anyhoo, I’m glad you were able to shed some light on your past and thus have a clearer view of your children’s future, surely your son will turn out cool like you 🙂

    RE: Yeah, what 7 year old tells his parents not to buy him anything for his birthday because he knows money is tight? Well, I mean, maybe one of the kids from “Little House on the Prairie” but not anyone I know! That’s probably one of the most difficult things about being adopted; not knowing much of anything about your medical past. At least I DO know my mom, but I fear my dad will be forever a mystery.

  4. OCD man, O-C-D

    Dude, I memorize license plates. Drives me nuts. Don’t tell anyone.

    I took my boy to a neurologist recently. While in the waiting room there was a teenager who kept making odd sounds. I thought he might be commenting on the tv show. Eventually he went outside just as his noisemaking really started up, then came back in when the nurse called him in. Of course I realized he had Tourette’s, hence the neuro’s office. Felt bad for the kid. Must be hard at school.

    RE: What’s going on with your son that he needs a neurologist? Or, was this your “my friend has this problem” attempt at deflecting attention from yourself? 🙂

  5. Oh I know that feeling! When I figured out what Borderline Personality was I thought “You mean they have names for all the weird things I do?” It’s comforting knowing that there is information and in many cases solutions.

  6. Whew…you just gave me a total flashback to my psych major days. Studying the DSM to make diagnoses was the fun part. The whole genetic component is fascinating to me. Thank goodness it’s just the tics without the language part!

    RE: Still one of my favorite 80s movies is “Gross Anatomy” where Slovak has to figure out what’s wrong with his prof. Good stuff!

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