"Life's A Twitch!" ®
Life's A Twitch! ® is a Canadian website based on Tourette Syndrome
(also called Tourette's
Syndrome, Tourette's Disorder, or TS) and associated disorders
from the study and clinical work of B. Duncan
McKinlay, Ph.D., C.Psych. Dr. McKinlay, or "Dr. Dunc", is an Ontario, Canada Psychologist
registered to work with children and adolescents in the areas of clinical
and school psychology. He has Tourette
Syndrome himself, and is committed (devoted, that is!!) to improving the quality
of life in people with Tic Disorders and a variety of other disorders & conditions including: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive-Compulsive
Disorder (OCD), Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) or 'rage', sensory processing dysfunction, Learning Disabilities,
Nonverbal Learning Disorder, depression, and anxiety.
empathy, good humour, research, and both considerable professional
and personal experience, Dr. McKinlay teaches understanding, treatment, management, and acceptance of Tourette
Syndrome, tics, and associated disorders in the world and in ourselves.
Syndrome/Tourette's Syndrome/Tourette's Disorder/TS is a disorder (not
an illness) influenced by neurological, psychological, and sociological
factors. It is characterized by tics - sudden, rapid, recurrent nonrhythmic
movements or noises that occur repeatedly and in the same way. The symptoms
include: both multiple motor tics and one or more phonic tics (which
may or may not include vocalizations) present at some time during the
disorder although not necessarily simultaneously; tics occur many times
a day (usually in bouts) nearly every day or intermittently throughout
a span of more than one year. Periodic changes are expected in the number,
frequency, type and location of the tics; waxing and waning of the severity
of the tics is also common. Symptoms can sometimes disappear for weeks
or months at a time. Individuals with tic symptoms that do not fulfill these criteria are diagnosed with other tic disorders (Chronic Tic Disorder, Transient Tic Disorder, Tic Disorder Not Otherwise Specified); these various diagnoses, including Tourettes, all merely represent varying degrees on the same spectrum.
of tics in Tourette Syndrome as "involuntary"
is sometimes confusing since it is known that most people with Tourette
can develop some degree of control over their symptoms using behavioural treatments like habit reversal training or the Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT). What is truly "involuntary"
is the feeling of discomfort or "premonitory urge" which the
tics serve to satiate. This is analogous to a person's compulsion to scratch
a mosquito bite (over which one has imperfect control) to alleviate
an itch sensation (over which one has no control). People with Tourette Syndrome vary in their capacity to suppress (from seconds to hours at a time), and may
seek a secluded spot to release their symptoms after delaying them in
school or at work. Typically, tics increase as a result of tension or
stress, and decrease with relaxation or concentration on an absorbing
task. Tics can be managed with medication and/or with the aforementioned alternative behavioural treatments - habit reversal training or CBIT. CBIT combines habit reversal training with psychoeducation, relaxation techniques, social support, and functional interventions to provide an alternative treatment for tics that has been found to be as effective as pharmacotherapy.
come in to learn much, much more. You are a friend in "Dr. Dunc's" website
Syndrome and associated disorders.