Tics are purposeless, involuntary, and repetitive movements and vocalizations. They are often preceded by a nagging thought or feeling that demands a specific rapid action. Tics can be very simple and unnoticeable to others or involve multiple muscle groups and be extremely obvious. Tics can cause great frustration, embarrassment, and physical pain. At times, tics also make it difficult to communicate, concentrate, and complete daily tasks. Bullying by peers and co-workers and attention from family members is common and makes it even harder to manage the tics.
The Tourette Association of America believes that approximately half the people with tics are misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed. Tics are also greatly misrepresented in television, film, and social media. Tics initially develop one at a time, perhaps starting with blinking and then months or years later involving a neck movement or shoulder shrug or other movements or sounds. Some people just have motor (movement) tics and some people just have vocal (sound) tics. The frequency and intensity varies from person to person, day to day, and over periods of time. Provisional Tic Disorder is common in young children and is defined as motor or vocal tics occurring for less than one year. After one year of motor or vocal tics, neurologists tend to make a diagnosis of Chronic Tic Disorder. People with both motor and vocal tics lasting for more than one year are typically diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, aka Tourette's, Tourette Disorder, or TS. Many people who have Tourette's also have concerns related to anxiety, depression, Autism, OCD, ADHD, gender dysphoria, handwriting, and executive functioning.
People with tics also are known to be very bright and empathetic and to have many extraordinary skills in areas including math, music, art, science, sports, medicine, and education. In fact, people with tics are often driven to succeed and live highly productive and meaningful lives.
CBIT is the leading intervention strategy for Tic Disorders and Tourette's. CBIT is provided by licensed and certified health professionals with extensive training in physical dysfunction, and mental health support. With CBIT Therapy our services include the following components:
Many children and adults are able to quickly reduce the intensity and frequency of their tics by practicing CBIT therapy strategies. Progress is dependent on motivation to manage tics, tic severity, and family support. Click here for a brief video about how CBIT helps to manage tics.
This video is about Tourette Syndrome and viewing it may trigger tics in some people.
Neurology Clinic, University Campus
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655
Marisela Dy-Hollins, E., M.D.
Wang Ambulatory Care Center
15 Parkman Street, 7th Floor, Room 720
Boston, MA 02114
Kinga Tomczak, MD, PhD
Attending Physician in Neurology
Director, Tic Disorders and Tourette Syndrome Program
Department of Neurology
Boston Children’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Tel: 781-216-2525 (Waltham) 617-355-2063 (Boston)
University of Vermont
2 Colchester Avenue
Burlington, Vermont 05405
Christy Stine MD, PhD
33 Lyman St, Ste 400
Westborough, MA 01581
Explaining CBIT, tics, and Tourette Syndrome to a child and their friends is easier with the help of a social story.
Educate others about tics and Tourette Syndrome in a quick and effective way. Prepare an elevator pitch, email, text, or put your message on a business card. You can also click here for the TAA "I have TS" card.
Join with others who have Tourette Syndrome and other tic disorders to make connections and new friends. Learn about CBIT, camps, social events and more resources on tics. Click here to contact a local chapter in Boston and other cities across America.
Know your rights. Reach out to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) for free and confidential guidance on how to manage Tourette Syndrome and other conditions related related to tics while on the job and when seeking new work. Your skills are needed and valuable.
Our name says it all. We specialize in CBIT therapy and are passionate about supporting our patients and their families so that they can better manage Tourette Syndrome and other conditions related to tics. Services are provided by a licensed occupational therapist certified in CBIT.
CBIT Therapy is part of Online OTs LLC and collaborates with clinicians at UMass, MGH, Boston Children's Hospital, and many practices throughout Massachusetts, New York, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. A HIPPA compliant Google Suite platform is used for video calls. Allways Health Partners, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and private pay are accepted. Mass Health recipients are eligible for limited financial assistance.
Please FAX referrals to 857-202-5085. Thank you!