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Comprehensive care for tic disorders and Tourette syndrome

At Boston Children’s, our Tic Disorders and Tourette Syndrome Program takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating and caring for children with tic disorders and Tourette syndrome. Our providers work with our patients and their families to address the complex medical and psychological needs, as well as the social-emotional needs associated with Tourette syndrome and other tic disorders.

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Why choose the Tic Disorders and Tourette Syndrome Program

Caring for a child with tic disorders or Tourette syndrome requires a solid understanding of the child, their family dynamics, and psychosocial circumstances. Our goal is to provide each patient with a thorough evaluation so we can give a correct diagnosis and the best possible treatment available. This begins with a detailed medical history to determine the first occurrence of tics as well as possible triggers.

Because providing support to caregivers is a crucial component of the treatment process, patient and family educators in the Tic Disorders and Tourette Syndrome Program are available to partner with families to teach parents and caregivers the skills they need to help their children. Additionally, we can educate teachers, school nurses, counselors, and others on tic disorders as needed or requested. In many cases, we can provide letters to endorse additional educational assessments like 504s or Individualized Educational Plans (IEP).

Boy wearing blue sweatshirt gives "peace" sign to camera.

One boy's experience with Tourette syndrome

Learn how Tariq's family went to the ends of the earth to find him answers at our Tic Disorder and Tourette Syndrome Program.

Our expertise in tic disorders and Tourette syndrome

The Tic Disorders and Tourette Syndrome Program focuses on helping children thrive and improve their tics, providing resources to support them and their families. Program director Kinga Tomczak, MD, PhD, a child neurologist and tic disorder specialist, along with the program’s team of nurse practitioners, regularly recommend a comprehensive treatment plan, which can include Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) therapy, medications, and lifestyle modifications. Your child’s care team will provide different medication choices based on their specific needs and other health conditions. We discuss possible side effects and suggest medications that can help with not just tic symptoms, but also concerns such as ADHD, headaches, sleep problems, or anxiety.

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Our services

We work with an excellent team of doctors and nurses from across Boston Children’s to provide care in many areas, including anxiety spectrum disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depressive disorders (Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences), learning disabilities (Learning Disabilities Program), autism spectrum disorder (Autism Spectrum Center), developmental delays, behavioral problems, and rage attacks (Developmental Medicine Center), and sleep problems (Sleep Center). From our first meeting, we talk honestly about the risk of bullying of children with tics and try to prevent it. When it happens, we refer our patients to our BACPAC program (Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention and Advocacy Center).

We also collaborate with a team of psychologists and therapists in the community to provide therapy for tics, anxiety, and OCD, as well as neuropsychological testing. We hope to inspire more providers to specialize in treating tics.