Tic Disorders (Tourette)

/ / Issues Treated in Therapy

Syndrome of (Gilles de la) Tourette and other Tic Disorders

Tic Disorders refer to disorders where the child (or adult) has involuntary, rapid, and repetitive movements of individual muscle groups. These movements, known as “tics”, can be either motor (movements) or vocal (sounds). The most common motor tics are: blinking the eyes, grimacing, nose movements, raising eyebrows and squinting (squint). Common vocal tics are: clearing the throat, coughing, humming, sniffing, or sniffing.

Tics are a way of responding to a built-up tension in the body; The person often feels an urge just for the tic, similar to when you feel itching just before you scratch. While the patient can often suppress the tic for a short time, build-up can become unbearable after long. A common misunderstanding is that these tics are random, and that the child does them on purpose. This misconception can lead to disciplinary problems at home and at school, because the adult may perceive the behavior as rebellious rather than a neurobiological disorder. The good news is that tics often disappear during adolescence and can completely stop in adulthood. However, early diagnosis and intervention has led to positive outcomes in our experience.
The diagnosis of tic disorders can be insidious because tic disorders consist of a degree of severity; some are mild with infrequent flare-ups, others are much more serious and involve many complex symptoms. Patients with Tourette disorders often also have Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The most troubling symptoms of this disorder are impulsivity, emotional lability, and aggression. Tourette’s syndrome is also associated with learning disabilities, which include problems with visual-perceptual and visual motor skills, and language learning difficulties. These co-occurring difficulties can mask the image and can mask each other. An expert in Tourette’s syndrome and other tic disorders is usually required to make an accurate diagnosis because they know the questions that must be asked to obtain all relevant information.

The Institute for Bodymind Integration has the expertise to diagnose and treat tic disorders. Our multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing these disorders understands the complexities and struggles of each individual (and family) to deal with symptoms that can change over and over. Here we find an example of where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Neuropsychological Evaluation: b Every child with tic disorder should receive an assessment of line learning. Not only academic performance scores, but also their learning style. This assessment ensures that there are no learning disabilities, and more importantly, informs parents and teachers how to help the child cope with the difficulties

Individual therapy: The goal of individual treatment is not to stop the tics, but rather to teach the client to use tools to reduce the frequency and severity of tics. Treatments include relaxation training, body awareness and cognitive and emotional behavioral approaches. Supportive therapy is also valuable as it provides the client with a place to process all secondary social and emotional problems that may arise with tic disorders.
Group therapy: Many children with tic disorders experience social difficulties such as peer rejection or isolation as a result of their tics. Group therapy provides the client with a safe social environment to receive peer support while also learning and practicing interpersonal skills.
Family Therapy: Tic disorders affect the whole family. Parents may feel powerless to help the child, and even the most patient relatives may become frizzled by the symptoms. The child with a tic disorder benefits most when the family members help develop a therapeutic and supportive environment that helps the child grow up.
Medication: Medication is not always necessary in the treatment of tic disorders, and there is no medication specifically designed to treat tic disorders. But there is medication that can help control tics. Medication can also help treat concomitant difficulties like ADHD, OCD, or mood.

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