Tourette Syndrome (TS or Tourette’s) is a disorder in the nervous system with the onset of childhood. Tourette syndrome is associated with tic disorder. Tics can be understood as repetitive, sudden, rapid and nonrhythmic facial movements and sounds. These tics are so sudden and rapid that they’re uncontrollable. This syndrome is characterized by two motor tics and at least one vocal tic.
Motor tics cause movements, like blinking of eyes, facial movements and grimacing, head and neck movements, shrugging of the shoulder, jerking of head or arms. These tics are termed to be the simple motor tics whereas the complex tics include jumping, hoping, etc.
Vocal tic produces the sound like sniffing, throat clearing, hooting, shouting and even sometimes grunting.
Tic disorder typically affects the children between the age of 5-7 years and it tends to increase by the time they reach the age of 8-12 years. It starts with the head and neck region. There can be some noticeable improvement in the disorder by the age of late teens and in fact, many people with Tourette’s have got rid of it. At the same time, there are few people with Tourette’s whose condition continues to have persistent growth making it a severe tic disorder.
According to the severity of Tourette Syndrome, it can be mild, severe and also can self-injurious too. If a person with Tourette’s suffers from depression, stress, excitement or even any sort of anxiety, then the severity of Tourette’s can change its frequency and severity.
The relevant studies show the fact that Tourette’s syndrome affects boys three times more as compared to the girls. Once it thought to be rare, but now it is becoming common. Tourette’s syndrome has no specific reason for its occurrence, but it is taken to be a genetic disorder. However, external environmental and developmental factors also contribute to the onset of this disorder, but until today, no specific set of events can be taken as a reference for study. In order to find out the specific reason for the occurrence of the TS, studies are still going on.
How to diagnose Tourette’s Syndrome?
The people affected by Tourette’s Syndrome can be identified and diagnosed well by the physician after examing the history of symptoms.
When is a person affected with TS need treatment or therapy?
If the disorder is mild in its severity, then there is no treatment required. However, it is essential to educate that person about this disorder and how he/she can deal with this situation. All this can be possible by providing proper support.
On the other hands, if the severity is high and tics are more frequent in its occurrence, then one should go for the behavioural therapy or medication (if considered) as Tourette’s syndrome is self-injurious sometimes.
Do a child with TS needs any special education and support?
A child with TS is as good as the other child in respect of intelligence level, but if the severity is high, then this disorder can interfere with his learning capabilities. Therefore, an effective educational evaluation and treatments can be given for a positive change in a child’s tic disorder.
As these tics are involuntary, therefore, they are misinterpreted as a bad behaviour and sometimes even a poor parenting. Please do not judge anyone on the basis of his/her behaviour. If you find any of your friend or relative having a tic disorder, please get them consulted with a good psychiatrist or a physician. There is no harm in having an expert advice. After all, every neuro-disorder does not mean mental illness. A proper support and care can help a child/adult with TS to manage his tics which sometimes becomes a barrier to his/her progress.
(Content Source: Tourette’s Association of America )
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