Structure and Tourette Syndrome

Published: February 9th, 2016

By: Heather Simpson

Category: Tourette Updates

Strategies for Home Success with Tourette Syndrome

Do you ever feel like you are struggling with your child’s transition from home after school, or after a friend’s house? Have you ever said the words, “ I can’t seem to calm my son down” or “my daughter is all over the place” or “my son’s tics are intense during homework”?

Well, the good news is that you are not alone. For children, going to school can be tough for many reasons, and when they come home, all they want to do is be stress –free and in their happy place. However, as a parent, don’t you want that to?

So, what is the secret to having stress-free success at home with children with Tourette Syndrome? One word… STRUCTURE.

But the trick is, making structure and routine, fun. So, how do you do that? Here are some simple strategies that you can explore for your home:

  1. Use fun visuals for the house. Create a calendar or afternoon routine log that is designed by your child. If they like batman, use batman as the picture.
  2. Allow for scheduled fun time. Since school is full of structure and routine, it is important to allow your children to have time to unwind and relax after school or appointments. Keep the electronics to a minimum and encourage physical play (if possible). Without this time, stress and more stress will occur.
  3. Give plenty of warning for transitions. Meaning, give plenty of warnings when it is almost time to be done with “free time” or about “15 minutes until it is time for dinner”. Use visual timers, or kitchen timers to help with that clear transition .

If you would like more information regarding strategies for home, please contact your local Center of Excellence or Occupational Therapist.

About the Author

Heather Simpson, OTR/L

Heather Simpson

Heather Simpson graduated with a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science with a minor in Early Education from the University of Florida in 2007. Following her Bachelor’s degree, Heather received a Master’s…

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