Tics are a medical neurologic condition of involuntary movements and vocalizations. They wax and wane over time and vary in number, frequency, intensity, and interference. Tics can last for very brief periods or throughout life. They can interfere with many activities of daily living ranging from school and work to eating, walking, socializing, and just trying to relax. Some people have just motor (movement) tics and some people have just vocal (sound) tics. These two conditions are called Tic Disorders. People who have both vocal and motor tics for a period lasting longer than one year are often diagnosed as having Tourette Syndrome.
Tics are frequently managed with a treatment program called Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics, also known as CBIT. Online OTs is a Boston based occupational therapy practice that specializes in CBIT for both children and adults. Our licensed and certified occupational therapists provide practical strategies to support management of tics both at home and in the community. We are affiliated with the Tourette Association of America and numerous hospitals and clinics throughout New England.
CBIT includes the following components:
CBIT training with Online OTs is short-term, lasting typically for 3-8 sessions over several months. Many people are able to reduce the intensity and frequency of their tics with CBIT strategies, enabling them to participate more fully in daily activities. Ask a neurologist if CBIT is right for you or send us an email to request a free phone consultation.
This video includes both verbal and motor tics, and therefore may be a tic trigger for people with Tic Disorders, Tourette Syndrome, or FND.
Although tics will come and go, many of the co-occurring conditions listed above are constant throughout the lifespan. They are often more disruptive than tics and impact daily living and quality of life. The co-occurring conditions are like a massive iceberg below the surface of an ice cube. Prior to CBIT therapy, many patients benefit from addressing conditions such as OCD, ADHD, FND, anxiety, and depression.
Neurology Clinic, University Campus
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655
Tel: (508) 334-2527
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
Explaining Tourette's to a young child is often easier when done with the help of a social story.
Educate others about Tourette's in a quick and effective way. Prepare an email or text or click here for the TAA "I have TS" card.
Join with others who have Tourette Syndrome to start making connections and life long friends. Click here to contact a local chapter.
Learn which accommodations may be useful for a student with Tourette's and what educational rights they are granted with help from the Tourette Association of America.
Know your legal rights. Reach out to the Job Accommodation Network for free and confidential guidance on how to manage tics while on the job.
Contact Online OTs to learn more about telehealth support for the management of tics. We provide an occupational therapy based approach to Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics, aka CBIT.
"I am Yaohong Lei from China. I have a medical condition called Tourette Syndrome. Last November, Suzy became my new specialist. As Suzy is certified in CBIT (Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics), I went to her to get instruction on this technique. During this period, Suzy demonstrated what a good mentor looks like. Suzy is professional and patient. Before every session, she would talk with me, with smile and enthusiasm, to let my guard down. She repeatedly worked with me on reducing my tics. When I told her that I am very nervous when I am in public, she accompanied me to the crowded student center to reduce my anxiety and nervousness. We talked and laughed. That was very relieving and relaxing. On my own I had tried every therapy in the world for Tourette's, I then felt that she was fighting those tics with me. Suzy really cares about helping others succeed."