Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder, usually starting in children between the ages of 2 and 12 is commonly called “Tourette’s. The disorder is usually seen as repetitive, involuntary vocalisations and movements which are referred to say tics. These tics can range in form and severity and may comprise of rapid blinking, shoulder shrugging, head jerking, sticking out the tongue, flapping arms, smelling objects, obscene gesturing or use of obscene language as well as repeating words or phrases, hiccupping and throat clearing.
The exact cause of Tourette’s is unknown however boys are three times more likely to suffer the disorder than girls. Tics which are the symptoms of Tourette’s may reduce and become more controllable as sufferers reach adulthood. Seeing a qualified therapist can assist individuals suffering with Tourette’s in managing their tics by using behavioural and awareness techniques.
Behavioural therapy with Tourette’s
A psychologist or a specially trained therapist will usually provide behavioural therapy for Tourette’s sufferers. There are two types of behavioural therapy which have been seen to reduce tics. Seeing a qualified therapist can assist individuals suffering with Tourette’s in managing their tics by using behavioural and awareness techniques.
Habit reversal training
This approach involves working out the feelings that trigger tics. The next stage is to find an alternative, less noticeable way of relieving the urge to tic.
Exposure with response prevention (ERP)
This method trains you to better control your urge to tic. Techniques are used to recreate the urge to tic to train you to tolerate the feeling, without doing the tic, until the urge passes.