Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT)

Also known as: CBIT

Who benefits from CBIT?

Children with a diagnosis of tic disorder and/or Tourette syndrome can benefit from this service. Tics are defined as sudden, rapid, recurrent, nonrhythmic, stereotyped motor movements or vocalizations. Tics may interfere with a child’s ability to function and participate in meaningful activities of daily living. Comprehensive behavioral intervention for tics does not include prescription drug therapy, but instead focuses on the following components:

  1. Training the child to be more aware of tics
  2. Training the child to use a “competing” behavior when he or she feels a tic coming on, and
  3. Making changes in day-to-day activities in ways that can help reduce tics.

What happens during the CBIT program?

This individualized program encompasses eight weekly, one-on-one treatment sessions. The focus of each session is on identifying the frequency and severity of tics and teaching alternate strategies or “competing responses” to incorporate into everyday life. These strategies are used to help both the child and his or her family manage the tic disorder with discretion and confidence.

Sessions are conducted by an occupational therapist who works with your child to promote active participation in meaningful activities and occupations of daily life. Your child will work with an occupational therapist to develop a competing response to tics, thus reducing the interruption of tics on health, well-being and development.

An evaluation is required to determine if your child is a candidate for this program. Weekly sessions are approximately 45 to 60 minutes in length. Our program is highly dependent on the dedication and involvement of each child and his or her family in adhering to practice sessions, separate from the scheduled clinic time.

How effective is CBIT for children with Tourette syndrome?

Results of a large, multi-site National Institute of Health-funded study show that more than half of individuals who undergo CBIT experience significant reductions in tic severity, in addition to improved ability to function in daily life. Complete elimination of all tics and other Tourette syndrome symptoms does happen occasionally in CBIT, but it is not expected. CBIT is not a “cure” for Tourette syndrome, but rather a tool that can help individuals better manage tics and reduce their negative influence in daily life.

This page was last updated on: December 02, 2019 03:13 PM

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