Tourette disorder is a lifelong condition, although symptoms usually improve during the late teens or early 20s. In some people, symptoms may even disappear entirely.
Many people with Tourette disorder do not need medication to suppress tics. However, other associated conditions, such as obsessive–compulsive disorder, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can persist into adulthood, and medication may be needed on a long-term basis to treat people with these conditions.
Specialists at the Child Study Center, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, offer a variety of support services to children with Tourette disorder and their families to help them manage the condition through all stages of childhood and adolescence.
Adults with Tourette disorder who have severe tics that aren’t adequately controlled with medication or behavioral therapy are encouraged to meet with our neurologists to explore other treatment options.
The Child Study Center’s Tics, Tourette Disorder, and Trichotillomania Program, or T3 Program, is dedicated to the understanding, evaluation, and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with tics, Tourette disorder, trichotillomania—also known as hair-pulling disorder—and other body-focused repetitive behaviors, such as skin picking, chewing on the inside of their cheeks, or lip biting. Our experts provide treatment and also offer events for parents and family members.
Some children and teenagers with Tourette disorder need their doctors to be involved in the coordination of services and accommodations they receive at school, especially if they require an Individualized Education Program (also known as an IEP), a 504 plan, or another type of in-school or special education service.
Experts at the Child Study Center provide school-based consultation services that can bring clinicians to a child’s school to observe him or her in the classroom. They can also make appropriate recommendations for class placement, in-school support services, and an IEP. Education about Tourette disorder and its related health concerns is also available to families and teachers, either at the Child Study Center or at your child’s school.
Counseling can be helpful for families of children with Tourette disorder. Our team of psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists conducts family therapy sessions. This type of therapy is a form of treatment that relies on the strengths and problem-solving abilities of the entire family. It is a practical approach that provides parents with skills and tools they can practice in therapy sessions, such as improved communication, and then use with their child and other family members while at home, helping the child to better cope with the symptoms and social challenges of this condition.
Other support resources for children with Tourette disorder and their families, such as child life services and social work, are offered through the Sala Institute for Child and Family Centered Care.