I am the mother of a wonderful, smart, sensitive girl who is also one of the strongest and most resilient people I know. She has Tourette Syndrome. It has been an emotional morning finding this site and reading so many personal stories that mirror our family’s experiences with TS over the past 5 years. Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences and helping me through what has been a difficult few weeks.
I wanted to share my thoughts regarding down time and TS. As discussed here, TV, iPods, iPads, video games definitely seem to have a direct correlation with an increase in my girl’s motor and verbal tics. I prefer to think of these devices as thoughtless activity.
But … I have also observed there are many activities that keep her mind and hands busy that help reduce her tics. Crochet, knitting, friendship bracelets — you know, all the crafty stuff. These types of activities seem to engage her body and mind.
I believe it is the problem-solving aspects and the fine motor activity that helps — Legos, Kinex, Sudoku or other puzzles help, too. You may say, “Well, my child is not very crafty.” Keep in mind, mine has never finished any project. She does not seem to care about the end result, but the process is what she uses to keep busy.
The hoards of lose yarn and paper scraps that fill our home seem a small price to pay. As most of you know TS is fluid and nothing works all the time, I consider these activities like a soothing blanket but it does not always work.
We are still searching for the perfect fit for her, and we are considering guitar lessons since she loves Taylor Swift. (She is 11, so go figure!) We hope guitar will give her the fine motor stimulation and complex processing that seems to calm her tics.
Has anyone else had luck with activities that focus on fine mortar and cognitive problem solving? Any suggestions? I have a ton more questions to ask everyone but will start here and hope to continue building my knowledge base from everyone here. Thanks!