Motor movement of uncontrolled natures may be attributed the development of tics and the complication known as Tourette syndrome. While motor movements are quite common in the Tourette syndrome sufferer, the complication may also lead to the development of verbal or phonic tics. While there are many psychological and medical treatments designed to improve tic behavior, most patients benefit from behavioral modification.
Behavioral treatments for tics associated with Tourette syndrome involve a process known as habit reversal. Believing that tics, in part, are associated with a social reinforcement, behavioral therapy may provide for some improvement. If you are the parent of a child who suffers from gross motor tics or phonic tics, associated with Tourette syndrome, ask your child’s pediatrician for a referral to a behavioral therapist. Often, this therapy does not cure Tourette syndrome or negate all aspects of tics, but it can improve your child’s frequency of tic events.
Using a collaborative approach to therapy, children who engage in behavioral treatment for tics and Tourette syndrome often practice a process known as habit reversal in cooperation with their parent or caregiver. Using a process known as awareness training, children who are engaged in tics are taught to identify tics in another person and then to self-identify when their own tics occur. Following the awareness training, the implementation of competing response training is implemented. In competing response training, the child is then taught to engage in a competing tic or action, for as long as one minute, in response to their urge to perform the normal tic behavior. With the support of a parent, many children with Tourette syndrome find they can improve their tic expressions and reduce the premonitory urge.
If you are the parent of a child who suffers from tics associated with Tourette syndrome, you may want to consider behavioral therapy. Using awareness training and competing response training, your child’s tics, both motor and phonic, can be managed more effectively. With a greater degree of management, your child can realize an improved physical, psychological and social outcome.
While there is no cure for Tourette syndrome, many children who suffer from the disorder utilize medications to manage the impulsivity and psychoneurological function. Using behavioral therapy, you can provide for a more optimal outcome in your child’s development and life when coping with Tourette syndrome. The key to optimal outcomes lies in the early intervention when tics begin and are first diagnosed as that related to Tourette syndrome.