Tourette’s is a neurological disorder, meaning that it stems from problems in the brain and nervous system. Tourette's syndrome is characterized by tics, rapid and involuntary movements and vocalizations. The word “involuntary” causes a bit of a debate, as many individuals with Tourette's are able to control their tics for a period of time. Many learn to “suppress” them while in public and engage in the movements and sounds privately. Internalising these behaviours can cause additional stresses and problems.
Tourette’s can start at a very young age, although to obtain a diagnosis symptoms must persist for one year. Research has not yet confirmed that people with Tourette's are more likely to have a concurrent diagnosis, but they may experience obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour, ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, challenging behaviours and sleep disruption.
Symptoms of Tourette's may include the following:
- Eye blinking
- Tongue clicking
- Neck jerking
- Snorting, barking or coughing
- Repetition of words or phrases out of context
Helping your child with Tourette’s
The good news is that with the right interventions and support, this condition is fully treatable. Many people with Tourette's do not require medication to control their symptoms. For those that do, it is important that all professionals involved in your child's progress communicate and work together to achieve success.
Research is now in support of behavioural interventions for individuals with Tourette's syndrome. Applied Behaviour Analysis can help the child with Tourette's engage in competing behaviours to decrease and potentially eliminate the tics they are struggling with.
Our starting point will be to undertake a detailed assessment of your child to enable us to accurately pinpoint the exact nature of the problem(s). We then work with your family and child to implement strategies for reducing the symptoms of Tourette’s and will help you to help your child reach their potential.
Helping the whole family
Having a child with Tourette’s can put a strain on family life. Trying to help your child, while balancing the needs of other siblings, work and your personal and marital relationship can be overwhelming. Our whole family approach means that we are also here for you and your other children, helping you as a family unit to thrive and turn things around. All programmes that are put in to place will take in to consideration the time, money and emotional investment that goes in to helping a child.
Did you know?
Tourette's syndrome is a spectrum disorder ranging from people being only mildly affected to profoundly affected, the good news is that regardless of where your child is in the spectrum, meaningful change can be made to improve their quality of life.