Tourette's Disorder

Also known as: Tourette's syndrome, Tourette syndrome.

What is Tourette's disorder?

Tourette's disorder is a nervous system condition that causes children (boys three times more than girls, frequently starting between 2-15 years of age; average 6 years) with the condition to make sudden unwanted repetitive motions or sounds sometimes referred to as “tics”. Blinking the eyes repeatedly or blurting out sounds loudly are common symptoms of Tourette's disorder.

What causes Tourette's disorder? 

The exact cause of the brain abnormality is not known however a combination of genetic (runs in families), and environmental factors, are probably involved.

What are the symptoms of Tourette's disorder?

Tics can be simple or complex (involving many parts of the body) and some may be quite mild. Stress, excitement or being tired can make them worse. They vary in type and frequency, can occur during sleep and worsen during an illness. There are two types of tics: movement abnormalities and vocal tics. Movement abnormalities like arm or head jerking, shoulder shrugging, eye blinking, loud noises, and mouth twitching. Vocal tics like grunting, coughing, shouting, swearing, barking or yelping or throat clearing.

What are Tourette's disorder care options? 

Mild tics may not need treatment. A combination of medications and therapies such as psychotherapy and behavior therapy may be helpful in treating Tourette's disorder. Deep brain stimulation (DBS-a neurosurgical procedure involving the implantation of a device, a neurostimulator or “brain pacemaker”) may be beneficial for severe tics that don’t respond to other treatment.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: September 09, 2020 11:20 AM

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​F.O.C.U.S. Program

8 week program. This group therapy program is designed for children ages 7 to 17 with behaviorial issues, including but not limited to ADHD. The weekly sessions teach innovative techniques to assist children with managing feelings, developing organization skills, maximizing their concentration abilities and socialization skills. Learn more.

Social Skills Group

8 week program. Children and teens ages 7 to 17 are invited to join this small discussion group to learn how to make, cultivate and maintain friendships. Participants will learn basic conversational skills, and discuss the use of appropriate humor, how to electronically connect with others, and how to manage disagreements. Learn more.

Calm Kids

8 week program. Calm Kids is a weekly group therapy course designed to teach children strategies on how to take control over anxiety symptoms. Children will learn how to cope with fears and worries, identify anxiety triggers, how to relax the mind and body and maximize their self-confidence. Learn more.

Pain Management Group

8 week program. This program is specifically designed to empower children ages 7-18 through complex sensory experiences. Each session is created to teach participants evidenced-based techniques to better manage pain and improve overall quality of life. Learn more.

Teen Sleep Group

8 week program. This program is designed for teens ages 13-16 experiencing difficulties related to sleep, including daytime sleepiness, trouble waking in the morning, difficulty falling asleep and waking in the middle of the night. The goal of this group is to give teens the tools and strategies they need in order to get more sleep and better quality sleep. Learn more.

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Sensory Motor Deficits

Sensory deficits is a general medical terms that encompasses a wide arrange of symptoms which can include difficulties with the senses (like touch or taste) and/or motor coordination (sitting, walking, grasping objects). Learn more

Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT)

Comprehensive behavioral intervention for tics focuses on training the child in making day to day changes to help reduce tics. Learn more