Tourette's Syndrome Case Study

Pages: 3 (925 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Disease

Tourette Syndrome and the Case of Kenny

Tourette syndrome is a form of disability that has only recently come into the forefront of discussion. However since its symptoms and manifestations have become more widely recognized, more and more cases of Tourettes are being reported every year. According to Wilson (2003) "Until 1972, the condition was considered to be quite rare, with only fifty known recorded cases at that time. Today, the syndrome is identified in as many as one out of 200 children" (p. 105).

While most people think of Tourettes as the spontaneous blurting out of curse words, the disorder is far more complicated than that. In fact only about "one-third of all children with Tourette syndrome also have coprolalia, the involuntary use of vulgar or obscene language and/or gestures" (Wilson, 2005, p. 105). Essentially, Tourette Syndrome is what is known as a "tic disorder," which can involve all sorts of involuntary movements, from snapping one's fingers to grunting or barking to blinking one's eyes. For most patients these irregular movements and vocalizations usually begin occurring around the age of five, but they can occur earlier or later as well. The frequency of the tics can vary from once in a while to up to one hundred times a minute. There are also periods of remission in some sufferers but these are relatively rare occurrences (Wilson, 2003).

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The Tourettes sufferer does not have to exhibit all of the possible symptoms however, according to Hendren (2002) "to be diagnosed with TS, a person must present with both motor tics and vocal (phonic) tics. The motor and vocal tics do not necessarily occur concurrently" (p. 23). In Kenny's case, Tourettes has manifested itself these general types of facial movements, and he also has vocal tics, usually in the form of grunting or snorting. In addition, Kenny has strong compulsive tendencies, particularly when it comes to touching things (including himself), wringing his hands and spinning.

Case Study on Tourette's Syndrome Assignment

Not surprisingly, Tourette's is commonly associated with other disorders such as learning disabilities, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). In fact, according to Wilson (2003) "Approximately 50 per cent of children with Tourette syndrome also have learning disabilities, and many experience some form of attention deficit. Obsessive compulsive behavior is also observed in 55 to 74 per cent of cases of Tourette syndrome and tends to take the form of needing to complete tasks to perfection or perform certain rituals" (p. 105). Kenny definitely seems to have OCD, although he is able to control his hand wringing at times. He also has trouble sitting still which could be evidence of ADD.

The association with OCD is to be expected because, as Carr (1999), explains, "the tics that characterize Tourette's syndrome are similar to those which occur… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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