Hi there. You are a nice aunt. :>) So, I have a son that has both anxiety and a neurological issue called sensory integration disorder. He started displaying tics early on. They would change periodically. He actually has two different kinds of tics and his tics also alternate. There are simple vocal tics which are just sound like throat clearing or humming, and there are complex vocal tics which are actual words like "ya" or "um hm". There are motor tics which my son has also had. He has various ones and they come and go. He has described it as something he HAS to do and can not control them. They appear when he is very nervous or anxious. OR they can appear when he is excited and it would be great if he could calm down. And it happens when he is in a state of 'low registration' in which he is having trouble staying focused on what is going on and he wants to. So, he may 'hum' which kind of wakes up his nervous system. You should hear him in church. ha.
They started around 7 years old. They have continued but as he got a bit older, since his tics can change, we would try to find ones that were less embarrassing for him or noticeable. And he did try to stick to those. A little effort involved but seemed to be able to because HE was motivated not to stand out! He now, at 15, will hum very softly to himself for the wake up or to calm down. And he snaps his fingers when nervous say before the gun goes off at one of his track meets. I see him on the line snapping away but no one seems to really notice that.
So, I think evaluation would be wise. OCD could be a possibility but remember that OCD is basically an anxiety disorder. My son has at times exhibited parts of this from time to time. My son now mostly has his sensory symptoms to deal with (sensory is adhd's cousin and I'm happy to tell you more about it but these are the kids that are over or under responsive to stimulation, have trouble making eye contact, tags in shirts bother them, are notoriously picky eaters, have trouble maintaining focus, have fine motor issues, etc.) and anxiety. In high school, there is a lot of anxiety.
Now, I am careful with how I talk to my son about things. He is aware that he has anxiety and he and I work on it and he has professional help. But I don't define him as this or that. This got really important the older he got. He wants to be like everyone else. So, we always talk in terms of making things better for him, giving him coping tools to use, making him feel better.
What was happening on the Saturdays that he got the tummy aches? Anything that would bring on anxiety?
I hate to say this but the situation with his parents may impact him subconsciously more than anyone wants to know. Kids are smart and often know and sense a lot more than we think. Could this be a reason for the stomach issues? Were they better while he was not there? I was trying to read the pattern and thought this is what you indicated. If so, that isn't to say his dad shouldn't be there but that perhaps there is a bit of an element of chaos or tension that impacts him under the surface and now that he is back, the 'idea' of that friction may be enough to trigger him.
My son, however, does have middle of the night wake ups of vomiting once in a while. He will say it is what he ate. But gosh, it coincided with the day before school started last time which is a heck of a coincidence.
How does he sleep? How does he eat?
Ya, you are in a precarious position in regards to wondering about how the issues around the dad impact the situation. It sounds from an outside perspective that it is related. I do hope that the therapist keys into what we have. The problem is, if you say anything, then it could cause you to be pushed out a little bit and that's not good for this little boy. And he IS a little boy. Keep loving and safe for him yourself as that is very valuable.
I think your perceptions about the situation are very good. Your friend is lucky to have you!
I wanted to check in with you and see how things are going?!
Hi, l also am curious how things are going. I meant to respond awhile ago...and then life got busy. I also am over on the adhd forum as the CL and one idea I had for the throat noise is to replace it with something else. Fidget toys can work very well for adhd kids and I wondered if something like that might just help him to please his brain. This is a good link to fidgets....
Hope this can be helpful. Best wishes.