It has been a tough week. We suspect Daniel has Tourette’s syndrome. He’s always had a tic – involuntary movement – of some sort, and over time, it has changed. But the tic has never really been a problem until this week when it became much more vocal and almost constant. The vocal aspect consists of seal-like noises and the physical aspect is mostly arm-flapping, sometimes head-thrusting.
His teacher is finding this hard work and his classmates moderately stressful. One of the little girls in his class told the teacher Daniel was giving her a headache. I understand how she feels. The noise, especially, gets very irritating after a period of time. But he really can’t help it and he does try to stop so it must be causing him a certain amount of grief as well. I kept him home from school on Friday to give them all a break but that can’t happen regularly.
I took him to our GP and she said there’s nothing she can do: not even provide any sort of diagnosis. He’s already on the waiting list to see a specialist and has been for at least a couple of months. A phone call later that day revealed his appointment will be the end of next month. Although Tourette’s syndrome is an unpleasant illness, I want this to be the diagnosis because it eliminates some of the other more serious neurological problems that can cause physical tremors. Cognitively, he’s doing very well, so that is reassuring.
They don’t give drugs to 5-year-old sufferers of Tourette’s and I wouldn’t want him to take any of the available drugs as they have quite serious side-effects. Ben has been wondering whether they provide drugs for the parents. I think they call it whiskey.