I, for one, have noticed a big increase in Stink's tics since this summer when I've let him play 2 hours a day on the DS. He only plays Monday through Friday, a complete reverse of what he's allowed during the school week when we have no electronics at all
Seems that since the DS installment of 2011, Tarzan roars seven times a minute. (A "roar" is not quite accurate. It's super soft. My deaf mother can't hear it. You can't hear it in groups. But if you have tic radar, which I do, it's very very VERY noticeable.) Sigh...
Today I got very frustrated and targeted my husband the moment he got home from work. (Lucky him! I know! I'm awesome like that when I stress.)
"We have two choices!" I complained.
1. Deal with it. It's only 2 hours/day. He loves it.
2. Take it away. A lot of books and sites that talk about ADHD (which is super common in TS and is likely the case with my boy though he's undiagnosed) say video games are bad news.
It's hard to argue with that. The two hours of "summer downtime" (as my husband calls it) could be used to teach my son to play piano. Or paint. Or do something equally admirable that makes me look like a mother who actually cares about creating positive neuro pathways for my son's growing noggin.
"Oh, so it's about you," was my husband's response.
To that I gave him a resounding, "Duh."
I quickly followed it up with my other research (such as Dr. Jay Gordon's Book: The ADHD Cure) about how kids just don't need video games to breathe and thrive. In fact, they are down right bad for them.
Together, along with my two kids, we came up with a more reasonable solution than "2 hours or nothing at all."
We cut down the days the kids play from 5 to four - creating 3 screen free days.
We split up the 2 hours/day they play into 2 one hour increments.
We made sure that only 1 hour of the two hours involves the DS. The other hour can be a movie or a book online.
I can tell you a few things about this post:
1. I am likely polishing a turd and trying to justify the demon based evil that is electronics as I cave into culture's lure to turn my already hyper child into a twitching, brainless zombie.
2. I know of kids who don't have TS who play electronics FAR more than my son. To deprive him of something he enjoys just so he doesn't tic (and that's a big maybe) seems extreme.
Stink's behavior, this summer, has drastically improved, despite ticking. He exercises a ton, reads a ton, plays a ton and laughs like crazy. He's hardly an electronic junkie jonesing for his next hit. (Though he'd totally play for hours on end if we didn't restrict him.)
In conclusion, I can't say for sure that cutting down my son's DS in half will save him from the Tarzan tic.
But I can, without a doubt, promise that giving him and his sister a mud bath in an attempt to "remove toxins" via their foot did not, in fact, banish tics. Alert the TSA! Aztec Mud Bath Cream is not a cure for DS!
But it was fun.
And it relaxed us.
Which made for less ticking.
It made for a less stressed out mama.
Who can complain about that?