Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. Tic disorder is diagnosed when a patient has either a repetitive or motor tic. Some of the more common simple tics include eye blinking, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging, and head or shoulder jerking. Simple vocal tics might include repetitive throat-clearing, coughing, sniffing, or grunting sounds. Complex tics are distinct, coordinated patterns of movements involving several muscle groups such as facial grimacing combined with a head twist and shoulder shrug. Parents of children with TS or tic disorder frequently worry about the social impact of TS or tics for their child. Concern over repetitive motion injuries and the side effects of medications is also common. TS and tic disorder also co-occurs with attention deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and oppositional behaviors which can make parenting a child with these disorders very challenging.
The majority of children and teens with TS and tic disorder will outgrow their tics by the time they reach their mid twenties, but life prior to that time can be painful and frustrating for everyone. The staff at The OCD & Anxiety Center in Chicago offers the latest cognitive-behavioral interventions designed to help children and teens suppress their tics using comprehensive behavioral intervention for tics (CBIT), assertion training, and bullying prevention training. We want any patient with tics to feel self-confident and ready to face the world so that they can express their talents and gifts regardless of their TS or tics.