Tourette’s is a neurological disorder, meaning that it stems from problems in the brain and nervous system. Tourette's syndrome is characterized by tics, rapid and involuntary movements and vocalizations. The word “involuntary” causes a bit of a debate, as many individuals with Tourette's are able to control their tics for a period of time. Many learn to “suppress” them while in public and engage in the movements and sounds privately. Internalising these behaviours can cause additional stresses and problems.
Tourette’s can start at a very young age, although to obtain a diagnosis symptoms must persist for one year. Research has not yet confirmed that people with Tourette's are more likely to have a concurrent diagnosis, but they may experience obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour, ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, challenging behaviours and sleep disruption.
Symptoms of Tourette's may include the following:
- Eye blinking
- Tongue clicking
- Neck jerking
- Snorting, barking or coughing
- Repetition of words or phrases out of context
Helping your child with Tourette’s
The good news is that with the right interventions and support, this condition is fully treatable. Many people with Tourette's do not require medication to control their symptoms. For those that do, it is important that all professionals involved in your child's progress communicate and work together to achieve success.
Research is now in support of behavioural interventions for individuals with Tourette's syndrome. Applied Behaviour Analysis can help the child with Tourette's engage in competing behaviours to decrease and potentially eliminate the tics they are struggling with.
Our starting point will be to undertake a detailed assessment of your child to enable us to accurately pinpoint the exact nature of the problem(s). We then work with your family and child to implement strategies for reducing the symptoms of Tourette’s and will help you to help your child reach their potential.
Helping the whole family
Having a child with Tourette’s can put a strain on family life. Trying to help your child, while balancing the needs of other siblings, work and your personal and marital relationship can be overwhelming. Our whole family approach means that we are also here for you and your other children, helping you as a family unit to thrive and turn things around. All programmes that are put in to place will take in to consideration the time, money and emotional investment that goes in to helping a child.
Did you know?
Tourette's syndrome is a spectrum disorder ranging from people being only mildly affected to profoundly affected, the good news is that regardless of where your child is in the spectrum, meaningful change can be made to improve their quality of life.
The next steps...
Contact us today to find out how NETwork is helping families and schools like yours.
For more information and resources please get in touch with us.
"Our son was diagnosed with Asperger’s aged 7; NETwork Interventions spent a day observing him at school and at home and quickly identified the skills he was lacking – skill deficits that we - and others working with our son - had not picked up on. NETwork Interventions trained us to help our son learn those missing skills. The results have been remarkable – he no longer cries about going to school, his concentration and behaviour are much better and he is far less likely to alienate others by the things he says. Thank you."
Parent in Surrey
"It is always a pleasure talking to Lu and Shelley - we think they are superstars!"
C & C, Ottawa
"We started an informal intervention for our 18 month old last week, Zack. Lu came for an observation around a month ago. This was followed by Shelley spending two days with our family last week. Our 18 month old had three signs and plenty of motivation and social intent, but no requests for items or people. He had a few unintelligible requests for activities and just sounds or unintelligible words for when he labels things. We have done our research. As professionals in the field of child development and with ASD and ADHD in our extended family, we know that it is better to act earlier rather than later. We didn’t want a heavy or burdensome programme for reasons of time, of finance and also of emotion. Admitting there may be a problem is actually very difficult. Last week was extremely draining emotionally in this capacity. We know that prevention is necessary as there is no firm cure and we can’t take the risk of not intervening and waiting another six months as our GP and Paediatrician told us. Shelley came to the farm with us, came swimming with us, to the park and to granny and grandpa’s home with us. She did day to day life with us such as bath time and bed time. The first day Shelley watched what life was like for me, balancing home, children, marriage and work. Life is hectic. The second day we swapped roles and she put recommendations in acting as I would and then supported me to implement it. She is coming back on Thursday to see how we are getting on and she is returning with a new schedule for me after going away to analyse it these last few days. We are absolutely thrilled with Zack’s progress already. His Gymboree teachers commented on his language ‘explosion’. His aunty, who does not know that we are running this intervention, commented on how much Zack is talking this week. I am confident that within a few months, Zack will not have a spiky developmental profile and it looks as though he will have even more skills than his peers at this rate. This is fun and I am so grateful to Shelley, Lu and Ruth who, together, have created the ‘perfect programme’ for us."
Luke, Louise, Lyndsay and Zack, Surrey, England
"This week I have been feeling very defeated with my son changing campuses at school. At the end of my call with Shelley I was filled with hope again. That is why I love our calls. Not simply because of the work with my son, but because Shelley always helps me to see a way forward. "
"I have had previous counselling for over two years but left because of no progress. I am finding the experience with Liz different in a very positive way. After just four sessions I am seeing great progress."
"The observation and assessment period that NETwork complete at the beginning is difficult to understand at the outset, but it turns out that it is an intricate process that [does] indeed find the issues to work on and subsequently address and resolve."
"Dillan had significant behavioural issues and received a very late diagnosis of NVLD when he was 9 years old. This diagnosis did little to help our family. Louise quickly and efficiently set up a programme for our teenage son which rapidly identified his strengths and weaknesses. Shelley taught us and his teachers how to best address these, including language deficits which had previously remained unrecognised, Louise’s team worked within our budget, working hours and extensive travel commitments, working closely with school and our local authority to ensure everybody was on board and funding accessed. At times it felt as though Louise was coordinating a small army. Additional support of parent-counselling through Louise’s team proved invaluable, even though we were originally a little sceptical. It most likely made the difference between success and failure in our ability as parents to sustain a positive family unit whilst implementing the programme. We worked with NETwork Interventions for just under one year."
Dr Edwards, North London
"We would like to say a massive thank you for your hard work during the 2 day assessment. We are so grateful and highly impressed with your level of knowledge, confidence, professionalism as well as the kindness and respect shown to our family. Now, we really believe there is light at the end of the tunnel."