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Helping Children and Adolescents with Tics and/or Tourette’s Disorder

    Tics are rapid movements or sounds that are repeated over and over for no reason. Throat clearing and eye blinking are common tics.  Tourette's Disorder is a type of tic disorder.  Children with Tourette's Disorder will repeat both movements and sounds.  In most children tics go away after a few months.  Even if the tics persist, in about half the children they get much better during adolescence or early adulthood.  Sometimes the tics can be troublesome to the child and family in a variety of ways and medical help is sought.  Medications are prescribed to help moderate the tics although. like most medicines, there can be troubling side effects and only help when you take the medicine.

    TAT for Tics is a behavioral program that teaches children lifelong skills that allow the child or adolescent to, in the words of one successful practitioner, “dodge,”or avoid the tic before it happens!  The program is an innovative application of cognitive behavioral therapy and clinical hypnosis.  It shows the child or adolescent how to recognize the onset of an urge to tic and then instantly relax the key muscles associated with the tic. 

    I’ve been involved in researching the effectiveness of TAT for Tics for several years.  Our clinical group consists of  a pediatric neurologist, a psychologist and myself here in Los Angeles, and a psychologist at the University of Massachusetts Worcester. 

TAT for Tics