If your child or a member of your community is diagnosed with ADHD, you may have seen them be extremely hyperactive and would be noticeably weak at focusing attention on things. Lately, there are also studies that described a relationship between ADHD and tics. Does a child with ADHD and teeth grinding have to do with tics? How are these two connected?
How are tics associated with ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a medical condition concerning the mental health of a person whose attention and self-control are affected. Many doctors who diagnose kids at an early age with ADHD will prescribe medications such as stimulants which increases some brain chemicals that control one’s concentration and focus. However, there are studies that show that these stimulants have side effects that cause involuntary movement of the body, known as tics.
Are ADHD and tics always together?
No. Some doctors believe that there is no way that ADHD medications can cause tics, but they don’t remove the possibility that patients predisposed to have tics (those with a family history of tics) can stir up the musculoskeletal condition. Unlike Tourette’s syndrome that is closely associated with tics, ADHD patients may or may not suffer from this condition.
What kinds of tics are found in ADHD patients?
There are many faces of tics. Most of them can be seen loosely in ADHD patients. Some parents would notice that their children often grimace or twist their necks. They also blink rapidly, grunt something unintelligible, or stutter. There are also some children who involuntarily grind their teeth at night, also called bruxism, especially if they fell asleep due to exhaustion and stress.
How can one manage ADHD?
As you might well know, there is no cure for ADHD. You can only manage the symptoms and prevent these from aggravating or worsening. As much as possible, avoid any stimulating activities that may heighten your child’s excitement. Ensure that their environment is free from sharp edges because their hyperactivity makes them more prone to accidents. Expose your child to other therapeutic mediums, like behavior therapy, social skills training, and even psychotherapy.