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Tourettic OCD

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My son has a 'tic' that drives me crazy. He plays competitive tennis and basically has a tic that can best be described as tourettic OCD because he takes practice swings wherever we go! He has accidentally hit people, including me, and I really want to address this as he gets older(he's almost 15). I was wondering how best to handle this. I don't mind him taking practice swings at home, but when we're shopping or even in line at the airport, I find it difficult to get him to control it without making a big deal about it. He nearly knocked someone over once and I'd hate for him to injure himself or someone else!


I was wondering what would best help with this type of tic? Would some type of CBT therapy help or are meds our best bet? He isn't bothered by the tics but I know that, as he gets older, this one will become more obvious to his friends, etc. He's been doing this one for nearly 2 years now and sometimes his coach or other tennis folks get annoyed at him and tell him to stop. I get tired of explaining it to everyone. It's hard enough to just say "It's a tic, ignore it", than try to explain that it's a bit more complex than just a tic that he can't control because I do think he could control this one if he wanted to and if he wanted to put effort in. These just aren't the same as his normal tics and his neuropsychologist has noticed other tics that he does that fall more into the OCD category. Sometimes it's hard to find the differences, though, and figure out which one is more OCD and which one is more TS.

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Hi Bonnie

From our personal experience, I would recommend CBT as a starter . It is important to let him feel comfortable with the CBT practitioner....some can be a bit over bearing ...my son responded best to a gentle therapist who worked with him rather than tried to instruct him.


Meds for OCD just have such potentially ick side effects, but if it is believed he needs more serotonin (often deficient in OCD incl Tourettic OCD) then there are a number of supplements and also foods that can be very helpful.

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My daughter is 13 and a competitive dancer and she did the same thing. Would do spins and turns everywhere we were. It wasn't so bad when she was little, but when she was 12 and would break out into a turn sequence while walking down the hallway at school or in the line up for a movie - it wasn't so great. She used CBIT - just like she did with her smaller tics. She no longer does this, but rather if she has the urge will do a small hand motion that is not noticeable. Good luck!

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