|Clinic helps kids cope with Tourette's
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Comprehensive Behavior Intervention for Tics (CBIT) is a non-drug treatment consisting of three important components:
- training the child to be more aware of tics
- training the child to use “competing” behavior when they feel the urge to tic
- making changes to day to day activities in ways that can be helpful in reducing tics
Karmen Mitchell, MS, OTR/L
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Back to School
- Working Closely with your Child's School – Tourette Association of America
- Resources for the School and Teachers – Tourette Association of America
- The College Student's Guide to Stress Management (Infographic) – Purdue University Global
The program consists of eight weekly sessions with a focus on embedding the tic strategies or “competing responses” into everyday life. The focus of the sessions is on identification of the frequency and severity of tics and teaching alternate strategies to the child. These new strategies help the child manage his or her tic disorder with discretion and confidence. The initial visit for evaluation generally lasts 45-60 minutes. Weekly sessions are generally 30 minutes in length. Our program is highly dependent on the commitment of the client adhering to the practice sessions outside of clinic time. An occupational therapy practitioner will work with your child or you to promote active participation in activities or occupations that are meaningful in his or her daily life. Our occupational therapists will work to help your child/you develop a competing response for tics, thereby limiting the interruption of tics on their health, well-being and participation in activities.
The innovative clinic at Children’s of Alabama and associated with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is one of the designated Tourette Association of America.
How effective is CBIT for someone with Tourette Syndrome?
Results from a large, multi-site National Institutes of Health-funded study show that over half of those who undergo CBIT will have significant reductions in tic severity along with improved ability to function. Complete elimination of all tics and other Tourette syndrome (TS) symptoms is seen occasionally in CBIT, but it is not to be expected. CBIT is not a “cure” for TS, but rather a tool that can help individuals better manage their tics and reduce the negative impact of tics upon their lives.
If you are interested in an evaluation for your child/yourself, simply call or email for more information. For the child program, insurances are accepted, and may cover the evaluation and additional sessions. A physician referral is required.
Adults: Please contact Karmen Mitchell regarding payment.
Karmen Mitchell, MS, OTR/L
Tourette Syndrome Center of Excellence (COfE) – Children’s of Alabama and University of Alabama at Birmingham (COA/UAB)
Since 2019, the TAA CofE at COA/UAB began offering an Adult CBIT Program and together our center is able to provide services to individuals with TS and other tics disorders of all ages. The children (age 4 to 21) are seen at the Children’s of Alabama while adults (21+) are seen at the School of Health Professions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Occupational Therapy.
The Adult CBIT program is coordinated by Deek Cunningham, MS, OTR/L and Karmen Mitchell, MS, OTR/L. For more information or to make a referral, please send an email to the AdultCBIT@uab.edu or call 205-934-8958.