Tic or seizures? | Autism PDD


In the last 2 mos or so, dd's developed this blinking. At first, I thought it
was just her trying to wink or clear her eyes, it wasn't too frequent. The
last few weeks, she's doing it a lot more. It comes & goes, but will last
hours at a time. It will be one blink (a very exaggerated, hard blink/
squint), a couple blinks in a row, or a whole facial thing (eyes blink &
squint, nose & forehead involved in frown/squint). She has a tremor &
grimaces, so it's not surprising if it's a tic. She hasn't had a seizure since

I'll check w/ neuro on Monday, but want to make sure no one's had
something like this turn out to be seizure activity.
I wouldn't be so
concerned, except she was up at 3am SCREAMING (first time--"window
loud!" which was a/c unit, 2nd time "bugs bed" thought she had bugs in
her crib, dh ck'd no bugs). We brought her into our bed, she was up for
hours (like her days before Trileptal), wired & active, finally passing out
around 7. Any thoughts or reassurances, greatly appreciated!

seizures do not last that long hun

they call it grimmacing my children do it all the time

they screw up there face and squint so they can make thigs blurry and when they screw up there eyes they can see double lol

here is some info on seizures and tics for you to go through




The International Classification of Epileptic Seizure identifies seizure types by the site of origin in the brain. The two main categories of seizures include partial seizures and generalized seizures. A partial seizure can evolve to a generalized seizure. There are several subtypes of each. Only the most common are described here.

Partial Seizures
The site of origin is a localized or discreet area in one hemisphere of the brain. The two most common types of partial seizure are simple partial and complex partial.

Simple Partial—These produce symptoms associated with the area of abnormal neural activity in the brain: motor signs, sensory symptoms, autonomic signs and symptoms (involuntary activity controlled by autonomic nervous system), and psychic symptoms (altered states of consciousness). There is no impairment of consciousness in simple partial seizures.

Complex Partial—Impairment of consciousness, characteristic of complex partial seizures (CPS), results in the inability to respond to or carry out simple commands or to execute willed movement, and a lack of awareness of one's surroundings and events. Automatisms may occur. An automatism is a more or less coordinated, involuntary motor activity. A simple complex seizure may begin as a simple partial seizure.



Tics are purposeless, rapid and repeated contractions of a group of muscles that result in movement (a motor tic) or the production of a sound (a vocal tic). Sometimes, a tic involves more complex behaviour.

Motor tics often involve the muscles of the face, head and neck, with movements such as blinking, lip smacking, facial twitching, grimacing and shrugging of the shoulders. Common vocal tics include coughing, grunting or clearing the throat.

The intensity of a tic can vary. Occasionally, tics are forceful, which can be frightening and uncomfortable.

Tics aren't voluntary movements - in other words, they can't be consciously controlled - although some people say they feel a strong urge to move, linked to stress. Some people are able to suppress their tics briefly, but this is said to be like holding back a sneeze and tension rises until the tic finally escapes.

Tics are usually divided into several categories, as described below.

Transient tic disorders

As many as one in four children will develop a transient or simple tic at some point during their school years. Such tics usually occur in just one muscle group and don't last more than a few months, although a child may have a series of different transient tics over a period of years.

Transient motor tics may include blinking, squinting, snapping the fingers, jerking the head or wrinkling the nose. Occasionally, transient vocal tics such as gurgling or humming occur. The tic may even involve more bizarre behaviour, such as touching objects or licking.

Transient tics may become more prominent when a child is tired or excited, but they don't lead to harm and don't need treatment. They decrease or disappear when the child sleeps.

Chronic tic disorders

Not only do chronic tics persist, sometimes for years, but they change little in their character. While they don't usually need treatment, they can be disruptive, especially if a child realises others think them strange. Occasionally, a person has several tics and is said to have chronic multiple tics.


The bugs in the bed might be a reaction to light touch -- maybe a draft from the air conditioner?

According to childbrain, it is rare that rapid, brief seizures cause what looks like tics (see below).  Good luck at the neurologist appointment.  Hope you get a good night's sleep tonight.

What are Some Other Causes for Tics?

Tics may be caused by extreme stress, some medications including Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Adderall (stimulants), or Tegretol may cause them. On rare occasions, some infections that involve the brain (encephalitis) may be associated with tics. Other genetic and metabolic disorders, mostly those that affect the basal ganglia may be associated with tics or with tic-like phenomenon. Also viral infections may rarely cause tics. Streptococcal infections have been associated with the development of tics and obsessive-compulsive behaviors. PANDAS or pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections, is a known entity in which the antibodies to the streptococcal bacteria attack the basal ganglia causing the above-mentioned symptoms.

Tics must be differentiated from chorea. Chorea is a movement disorder that unlike tics, cannot be reproduced by an observer, is more difficult to suppress, and is incorporated into voluntary movements. Rarely some seizures may be brief and rapid imitating tic disorders.

Source:  http://www.childbrain.com/ticdisorder.shtml#4

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