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  • Tourettes and Tics

    If you or your child suffer from the anxiety, frustration, and embarrassment of tics, there is hope.

    If you or your child avoid social situations for fear of tics, there are solutions!

    If you are hesitant for you or your child to take medications for tics, you’re in luck!

    People who have Tic Disorders such as Tourette’s Syndrome periodically exhibit behaviors that are repetitive and involuntary. They may be Motor tics (uncontrollable muscle movements) or Vocal tics (sounds involving one’s voice).

    Common motor tics include:

    – Eye blinking

    – Neck twitching

    – Sniffing

    – Shrugging shoulders

    – Grimacing

    – Rapid jerking of any part of the body

    Common vocal tics may include:

    – Throat clearing

    – Grunting

    – Sniffing or snorting

    – Specific phrases

    Tic disorders can greatly impact a person’s self-esteem, social life, family relationships, and academic/professional functioning. In addition, people with Tic disorders often face co-ocurring disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Depression.

    For many years it was believed that tics could only be treated by taking a prescription for various medications. However, in recent years, research and clinical trials have shown great support for Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tourettes, or CBIT – a treatment which does not involve medication, nor have adverse side effects..

    What Is Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics/Tourette’s (CBIT)?

    CBIT is an established therapy that teaches people to change their behavior over time and tic less. Research on CBIT has been done with children and adults with Tourette syndrome.

    CBIT is based on three simple observations about tics:

    • Tics can get better and worse on their own.
    • Tics are often done in response to a feeling or an urge.
    • Tics can often be stopped, at least for a short time.

    From these conclusions, CBIT decreases the stress caused by Tics through helping you or your child develop various skills. Through Habit Reversal Training, Tourette’s sufferers learn to manage stress and solve problems to minimize triggers for tics, gain a more complex understanding of their tics and urges, and practice new and opposite muscle behaviors when feeling the urge to tic.

    By developing and mastering “competing responses” to tic urges, the association between the urges and the original tic starts to break down and become less automatic.

    If you or your loved one would like to discuss treatment for Tourette’s, or CBIT, please contact us at (818)547-2623.