Tourette’s Disorder In Children – Symptoms And Remedies

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In this overly conscious society, which always expects us to be at our best, standing out is not always an admirable quality. It is even more looked down on if the reason for this standing out is something beyond a person’s control.

Blending in and leading a normal life becomes extremely tough when one suffers from an uncontrollable factor. This makes them stand out from the rest.

One disorder that fits the bill is Tourette’s disorder. If your child too, unfortunately, happens to be suffering from this, here is a small way to help you know better about this disease.

What Is Tourette Syndrome?

Tourette’s disorder, or simply TS (Tourette Syndrome), is a brain or neuro condition which starts in early childhood. It is a neurological disorder which is characterized by involuntary, repetitive, motor and vocal movements known as tics.

  • Broadly speaking, the real reason behind Tourette’s disorder is not really known clearly. However, studies do suggest that certain abnormalities in the regions of brain cause Tourette’s disorder.
  • The disorder itself is very complex and hence it is believed that the causes too are extremely complex.
  • Hyperactivity, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), impulsivity, depression, etc., can all be rooted from Tourette’s disorder.

[ Read: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder In Children ]

Signs And Symptoms Of Tourette Syndrome In Children:

The main symptom of Tourette’s disorder in children is involuntary tics.

1. These tics are seen to be at their worst when a child is excited or stressed.

2. Tics often cause a great amount of shame, self-consciousness and discomfort in children, who suffer from TS.

3. Patterns of tics differs from child to child. Some of these tics may not even be as obvious to a second party.

4. Simple motor tics involve involuntary eye blinking or other eye movements, head and shoulder jerking.

5. Simple vocalization tics involve coughing, throat clearing, mostly related to the head and neck area.

6. Complex motor tics are more distinct, involving several muscle groups. These may include hopping, jumping and touching objects.

7. Complex vocalization tics include the urge to say words or even phrases.

These tics are usually accompanied with an innate urge, building up in a certain body part. These can be relieved only once the tic has been performed. Many a times, suffering children have described to have to perform these tics in a certain specific manner and a certain number of times to relieve this urge.

[ Read: Tics In Children ]

Diagnosis Of Tourette Syndrome In Children:

There is no single test to diagnose Tourette’s disorder.

  • The doctor carefully observes a child for a period of time to verify symptoms and diagnose Tourette’s disorder.
  • Often, doctors diagnose the patient with this disorder after verifying the motor and vocal tics for almost one year.
  • No blood tests or laboratory tests are generally required to diagnose Tourette’s disorder.

[ Read: How To Build Confidence In Kids ]

Treatment For Tourette Syndrome In Children:

There is no cure for Tourette’s disorder. But there are treatment offered for helping the suffering child cope with the problems that come with this disorder.

1. As there is rarely any impairment caused by Tourette’s disorder, no medication is required to suppress signs.

2. Effective medication is available only when these symptoms interfere with a patient’s daily functioning.

3. There are a number of effective medications which help in suppressing tics. However, these medications, with their benefits, are sometimes seen to adversely affect children.

[ Read: Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis ]

Can It Be Inherited?

Evidences suggest that Tourette’s disorder is inherited. The early signs and symptoms are seen right from an early age of 2 to 5 years in children.

  • Surprisingly, gender of a person is also seen to play a large role in inheriting Tourette’s disorder.
  • Males are much more likely to inherit this disorder and are found to be at a larger risk rate.
  • It has also been seen that in some cases, Tourette’s disorder in children improve during teens, sometimes altogether disappearing.
  • Generally, the disorder is lifelong and chronic, although it does not degenerate intelligence or a normal life expectancy of the child.
  • In rare cases, children suffering from Tourette’s disorder can camouflage or suppress these tics, but this can only be done to a certain extent.

[ Read: Periorbital Cellulitis In Children ]

Tourette’s disorder brings with it not only discomfort to a child but also an extremely unwelcome feeling of being looked down upon by the world. The best way to help your child cope would be to offer as much love and care as you can. If your child is suffering from this problem, the pain and worry sure is unfathomable. Do not panic and deal with it tactfully. Your strength will inspire your child.

Hope this article enlightened you on this rare disorder. Write in if you have more tips to deal with Tourette’s disorder.

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