Symptoms and Treatment of Tourette's Syndrome In Children

Published: 03rd March 2011
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The symptoms of tics and Tourette’s syndrome typically manifest themselves between the years of three and 10 years of age and include uncontrollable, repeated, rapid motions that occur involuntarily for no obvious reason. Commonly the person will experience movements and tics that will include clearing of the throat and even blinking of the eyes and these often come about when the individual is stressed and exhausted, or currently taking some medicines. Some movements and sounds may be repeated, often occurring at the same time, but often on their own. Those with tic or Tourette’s syndrome usually have their most obvious symptoms between the ages of nine and 13. More than half improve during their teen years and into early adulthood however, some have moderate to severe tics into adulthood. Sometimes tics disappear while others remain.

Tourette’s syndrome is an inherited neuropsychiatric disorder. Most associate this syndrome with noises including whistles and/or barks and sometimes loud obsene words but, not all tic is verbal. Some are physical in nature such as fidgeting with hair or unbuttoning clothes. Eye blinking, coughing, sniffing and facial movements are also common. Some tics are invisible to others, such as toe crunching or abdominal flexing. Between one and 10 children per 1,000 have Tourette’s and over 100,000 Americans are also suffering from this syndrome. Contrary to popular belief, the tics experienced by children and adults has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence or life span and is not an indicator of a person's health. The exact cause of the syndrome is unknown.

Tics alone aren’t harmful but the can surely impact your child’s everyday life. Because of how this can impact a child's life it is advisable to seek professional help to control the tics connected with the syndrome. There are medications that will help alleviate the symptoms, but they often have side effects of their own, and unfortunately there is currently no cure or medication that will completely take away all of the symptoms associated with Tourettes. In some cases, physicians and families choose to forgo medication and focus instead on managing the environmental factors that can contribute to the manifestation of tics which can change depending on a number of factors. Because there is no universal prescription to treat tic disorders, forgoing medication altogether nullifies having to try various forms of medicinal intervention which many times will have harsher side effects than Tourettes in itself. Most treatment involves producing a supportive surrounding for the child. It is also essential to help educate the child on certain calming techniques they can practice to help ease the tics. Yoga,relaxation training, exercise and meditation have been determined to help in several cases.

An important facet of these conditions to look at is that kids who have these tics have absolutely no control over themselves and it is totally involuntary. Trying to stop them or talk them into calming down will not work and can only make more stress and anxiety. It is urgent to also explain the situation to your child's educators and teachers to make sure they are conscious of the special needs your child will call for. Sometimes switching the focus away from the tics is the best course of action. The most essential thing is to provide caring support for a child who has Tourettes as that alone can be plenty to help your child cope with this syndrome over the course of their life.

Lillian Bonds is an author and writer for numerous popular websites. Come visit her latest work at where you can learn more about health related subjects through her Health Articles For Kids.

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