A school-based intervention to reduce the frequency of tics in children with Tourette's Syndrome

Date of Completion

January 1997


Psychology, Behavioral|Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Developmental




This investigation employed a multiple baseline design across individuals with a follow up to examine the effects of a packaged treatment consisting of habit reversal with self-modeling as an intervention to reduce the frequency of tics in 4 school-age students with diagnosed Tourette's Syndrome. In this study, habit reversal refers to the awareness of the presence of tics and the performance of a behaviorally competing response to prevent their occurrence. Self-modeling refers to the positive change in behavior that results from repeated observations of oneself on edited videotapes depicting only exemplary behaviors. The students learned responses that behaviorally competed with their multiple tics. Subsequently, they viewed themselves on three 5-minute edited videotapes displaying non-tic behaviors. Three of the four students showed substantial decreases in their tics which were maintained at a five- to ten-week follow up. The fourth student showed only mild decreases in tics supposedly due to the interference of newly-emerging tics and complications from an illness. The findings of this study indicated that the intervention was effective in the classroom setting, contrary to earlier suppositions regarding the direct targeting of tics interfering with student performance. Moreover, this intervention supported the inclusion of students with multiple tics associated with Tourette's Syndrome in the classroom within the least restrictive environment. ^