Let’s talk tics and treatment!
Both motor and vocal tics can significantly interfere with one’s quality of life. For example, a child may feel embarrassed or anxious when all eyes are on them (i.e., sports, reading in class, etc.), get in trouble for disrupting class, or avoid tasks that cause an increase in their tics. Because tics can impede a child’s ability to participate in meaningful activities, occupational therapists can play a key role in decreasing the frequency of tics with a treatment method known as Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics.
It is common for families and caregivers to have questions regarding CBIT since it is a relatively new treatment method. Below is a list of frequently asked questions to help guide you in determining if your loved one might benefit from this treatment protocol.
What is CBIT?
CBIT stands for Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics. It is a non-drug treatment for tic disorders that involves tic awareness and habit reversal training. It is not meant to “cure” tics but manage them in order to improve quality of life.
What and who is involved in CBIT?
CBIT is an 8-10 week protocol that focuses on tic awareness and habit reversal training, although this can vary depending on the particular child. Practice at home and other natural environments is key to success; thus, a large emphasis is placed on a home program and caregiver involvement. Sessions are approached from a team perspective and is most successful when everyone is playing on the same side. We all have the same goal, after all—decreasing tic frequency! Therapists work closely with the child, caregivers, and can even provide education to teachers and principals when necessary to ensure everyone is on the same page. It is important that there is consistency in all of the child’s environments for CBIT to be the most effective.
Is my child a candidate for CBIT?
There is no age requirement for CBIT; however, the treatment protocol requires the ability to discuss their tics, follow directions, problem solve, recognize feelings in their body, recognize movements their body is performing, and most importantly, have some degree of awareness when their tic is happening.
Why choose CBIT by an OT?
Occupational therapists are trained to help people achieve the highest level of independence possible in activities that are most important to them—dressing themselves, eating a meal, driving, participating in school, spending time with friends—whatever is most meaningful to a person is the goal of OT! Occupational therapists use their unique lens for assessing how a person participates in daily life and applies it to all aspects of CBIT.
Where do I start?
If you think your child might be a good fit for CBIT, contact our office to schedule an evaluation with one of our CBIT-trained occupational therapists!