Tourettes syndrome

Tourette’s syndrome is a condition which affects the brain and nervous system. It results in a child displaying involuntarily movements and noises, often called tics. Tourette’s is often linked with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The involuntary movements or sounds can either be simple, involving a small sound or movement, or complex, involving a series of movements or speaking long sentences or phrases. A child with Tourette’s will typically have both physical and vocal tics. Whilst the tics themselves do not pose a threat, involuntary movements can result in children hurting themselves, or others.

Currently, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is thought to be the most promising form of treatment for Tourette’s which helps a child manage the effect and frequency of their tics.

Tourette’s syndrome, particularly if accompanied with OCD or ADHD, may result in special educational needs. A child with Tourette’s may face significant difficulties in accessing education and require support via CBT. In our experience, such cases require the support of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). It is helpful to seek special educational needs advice as soon as possible in order to establish what level of support would be adequate.


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