At Possibilities, physicians with expertise in neuroscience and development offer Tic Disorder/Tourette Syndrome Assessments to children and teens. With this assessment, physicians can determine whether a Tic Disorder—like Tourette Syndrome (TS)—is present and whether it explains the repetitive behaviours you’ve noticed from your child or teen. Here are questions we are often asked about our specialized Tic Disorder/Tourette Syndrome Assessment, along with our answers.
What are tics?
Tics are repetitive, involuntary movements or vocalizations such as blinking, nose twitching, throat clearing, or sniffing. You might have heard that tics are all about swearing or using inappropriate language, especially in Tourette Syndrome (TS). Science says that assumption is wrong! In Tourette Syndrome most tics do not involve swearing at all.
What is Tourette Syndrome (TS)?
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurobiological brain difference—which means it is a neurodevelopmental condition—where tics are a symptom. Tourette Syndrome occurs when a child or teen has had both movement and vocal tics for more than a year.
Will the tics stop by making my child more aware of them and by just saying, “stop”?
No. Tics, by definition, are involuntary. Some children and teens may have some control over their tics, but not 24/7. And saying “stop!” or providing rewards and consequences will not be effective either. In fact, the more people talk about tics or point them out, the more likely the tics will get worse! Treating tics requires a highly specialized treatment plan. It also requires a therapist with highly specialized training in treating tics. A clinician who does more general forms of therapy will not be effective when it comes to reducing tics that are stressful for your child or teen.
What treatments are available if Tourette Syndrome is diagnosed?
If your child or teen wants to reduce specific tics, then there are options, such as specialized behaviour therapy called CBIT, or medication.
Can you tell me more about the drug-free therapy for tics called CBIT?
Yes! At Possibilities, we have clinicians trained in CBIT, which stands for Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention for Tics. CBIT is an exciting, well-researched, and scientifically-supported behaviour therapy designed specifically to help individuals with Tic Disorders lessen their tics. CBIT is a drug-free option for tic management done with a therapist trained in this technique. At Possibilities, our trained clinicians offer CBIT to children and adolescents. We do not offer services for Tic Disorders and Tourette Syndrome for adults at this time.