A mother in Illinois has revealed the heartache to be one of the causes for her daughter's Tourette syndrome tics – until a new therapy changed all of that.
Avery, who asked us not to use her last name, was eight years old when she was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, a disorder of the nervous system that causes involuntary behavioral theics.
Soon her mother, D & # 39; Ann, became one of the triggers. The way she spoke or breathed could cause Avery & # 39; s entire body to jerk.
It became so difficult that the two had trouble being in the same room together.
Then, a year ago, the family decided to try out a relatively new form of therapy that teaches patients to recognize the tics and to create a competitive response to combat the urge to do it.
Now the mother-daughter couple can not only be in the same room together, but also like shopping and dining together and braiding each other's hair.
Avery, 14, from Naperville, Illinois, was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome. Pictured: Avery with her mother. Thanks to: NBC Chicago
Avery had 26 tics including shrugging hair, twisting her wrist, blinking several times and tensing her body. Pictured: Avery with her mother
Her mother, D & Ann, told DailyMail.com that she and her husband saw Avery staring with tics about five years old.
& # 39; We went to the doctor, who was the first to explain that it was a temporary tic disorder, & # 39; she said. & # 39; After having had eight motor and vocal tics at (age), she was diagnosed with Tourette. & # 39;
Tourette syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system that causes involuntary behavior types.
Tics can be mild with small movements, or they can consist of sudden vocal outbursts and complete body pulses.
An estimated 300,000 children in the US have the condition, according to the Tourette Association of America.
The syndrome is often co-diagnosed with conditions such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which Avery also has.
Avery had 26 tics including shrugging her shoulders, twisting her wrists, blinking multiple times and tensing her body.
Around the age of 10 or 11 she started imitating her mother, and that became one of her tics.
& # 39; When I asked my mother a question, she had to answer: & # 39; Yes & # 39 ;, that was not possible: & # 39; Naturally & # 39 ;, & # 39; explained Avery DailyMail.com.
& # 39; If it wasn't, it would upset me and I would tic. & # 39;
Around the age of 10 or 11 she started imitating her mother, and that became one of her tics. Pictured: Avery with her mother
The family tried drugs, neurofeedback, acupuncture, supplements and elimination diet, but nothing worked. Then they started Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics, in which Avery (left and right) is taught to recognize and control her tics.
Soon, she says, it went on to everything her mother would say or do. It became difficult for them to be in the same room together.
& # 39; When people speak, for example, they breathe in before they do, & # 39; said Avery. & # 39; When my mother did it, it would stop me. & # 39;
The family tried a number of different methods: medication, neurofeedback, acupuncture, supplements and an elimination diet – but nothing worked.
& # 39; I absolutely stopped and felt that I was walking over egg cups & # 39 ;, said D & # 39; Ann.
Mindy Meyer, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Northwestern Medicine, explained that this behavior is more common than people think.
& # 39; Tics like this happens to anyone child feels safest around or who the first-aid worker is, & she told DailyMail.com.
& # 39; That is because the child knows that he or she will not be sentenced and will be loved unconditionally. & # 39;
Meyer started to treat Avery in July 2018 with a therapy called Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT).
CBIT focuses on people with Tourette who become aware of their tics and triggers, so that they get the chance to control them.
Over the course of a year, Avery worked its way from 26 tics to four tics. Pictured: Avery, second from the right, with her parents and her brother
Her relationship with her mother has also drastically improved and they set out to shop and eat together. Pictured: Avery playing volleyball
Meyer teaches Avery to neutralize the tic with a subtle response such as holding her shoulders when she feels she wants to pick them up
When Avery and her mother went to their first date, Avery covered her face to make sure she couldn't see her mother or button her ears.
Now Avery is from 26 tics to just four – and she says she's still working on it.
& # 39; It's just amazing & # 39 ;, she said. & # 39; I have more confidence and I am proud of myself. & # 39;
Her relationship with her mother has also improved drastically. They go out together to eat and eat together.
& # 39; We sit next to each other and I am currently having my hair braided by Avery, & said D & # 39; Ann during this interview.
Both the family and Meyer said they wanted to spread the awareness that there are ways to help parents let their child manage Tourette syndrome.
& # 39; I hope that people with Tourette syndrome know that I went through it, so much and there is hope. Really, & Avery said.
& # 39; Mindy looked less like a doctor and more like a coach who supported you through your tics. & # 39;
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