Tourette’s syndrome in middle school
The good news is that many kids with Tourette’s find that their tics and blurting start to fade in late adolescence.
But the teen years are often a period of growing obsessions and anxiety. Emotional self-control — especially anger management — become big issues.
During the teen years, young people develop the ability to apply behavior strategies to their own behavior. This creates options for a variety of self-directed therapies.
One option is cognitive behavioral therapy. A psychologist helps the teen identify behaviors that need work and devices mental strategies for preventing and controlling those behaviors. The teen then practices until he or she has adequate control.
Another option is habit reversal therapy (HRT). This technique is useful for helping to gain control over any residual tics or involuntary habits.
One promising treatment option is EEG neurofeedback therapy. Neurofeedback trains the brain to produce higher sensorimotor rhythms, the brainwave frequency associated with tics, anxiety, and sensory issues.
The Teen Years and Tourette’s
1. Make sure the high school teachers know your kid has Tourette’s. It’s torturous for a kid to have to pretend to be normal. Suppressing tics is almost impossible and often just makes things worse.
Note that there are fewer resources about Tourette’s than there are about ADHD or Asperger’s Syndrome. This makes the role of the parent even more important.
2. Make sure the teachers understand sensory processing disorder. Sensory issues create agitation and anxiety that is hard for teachers to understand unless you explain it to them.
3. Make sure your kid understands Tourette’s and all its related issues. Frame it positively. There are many different kinds of brains out there — it’s a neuro-diverse world. Help your kid identify which issues he/she wants to resolve and which ones are fine with him/her.
4. Every Tourette’s kid is different. You may find that this school Q&A about Tourette’s Syndrome contains answers to your questions.