Understanding Tourette's, Tics, ADHD and Depression

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Hi, welcome back! Here is your final lesson!

So far you've learned about obsessions, compulsions, cognitive behavioural therapy; and how to break the OCD cycle with exposure response prevention.

Lesson 5 will help you learn more about tourette's and tics, depression and ADHD/ADD. This lesson also tells you what to do if you're being bullied...

Let's first watch this video to learn more about Tourette's Syndrome.

Now let's read more about tourette's & tics

Sometimes children shout out things, or they make noises like barks and feel distress because they want to stop but can’t. These are called vocal tics. Other times, children might shrug their shoulders, do forceful blinking, or make other sudden movements with their arms or other parts of their body. These are called motor tics. Some doctors say that when children have at least one vocal tic (e.g. making a certain noise) and three motor tics (e.g. making three different movements), it means they probably have Tourette syndrome. Some people with Tourette syndrome don't always make noticeable movements and loud vocal tics. For example, some motor tics are hidden, like mild limb twitches, and some vocal tics are often muffled, like sniffing. There are other times when children develop tics, like repeated throat clearing. People who have tics don't always have full-blown Tourette syndrome. Some special doctors said that if children take up a really interesting hobby like art by numbers, learning to draw, or collecting figures and painting them then it could help calm their tics. They also say that sports and exercises help too. Tim Howard, who has Tourette's, says playing goalie helped calm his tics. What could you do to help calm your tics?

Some children also have depression and ADHD/ADD... 

Let's start with depression

Up to now you have learned that OCD is a disorder that isn't anyone's fault, just like when a person can’t help getting other conditions like diabetes. Depression is when someone feels sad or in a low mood quite a lot but wishes they could feel okay. When someone is depressed they also don't enjoy doing things they used to as much, like hobbies and hanging out with friends. If ever you feel sad, agitated, angry, unhappy or are in a low mood do talk to someone right away if you can, such as your parent or teacher. If it's not possible to talk right away try to distract yourself from your mood until you can talk to someone. It's always good to do something that helps you feel better, like playing a board game with your brother or sister, texting a friend, or asking someone over to watch a DVD. Sad or anxious feelings do pass, so when you recognise how you feel and then do something to distract yourself you will see that your mood passes. However, if the mood persists (or keeps coming back) then it's important to talk to someone you trust as soon as possible so that you can get the help you need.

And now ADHD

Another condition that some children have is called ADHD. The H in ADHD means hyperactivity. Hyperactivity is when children fidget a lot which makes it difficult for them to focus their attention on what they’re doing. This might be when they're doing their school work, playing a game, watching TV or trying to get to sleep. Distraction makes it worse. Sitting next to a window in class is a distraction because children can't help watching what's going on outside.

What is ADD? 

Some children have ADHD without the H. This means they have ADD. These children don't fidget so much; instead they seem quiet and dreamy. The A in ADD and ADHD means attention and the first D means deficit. Deficit means the amount of attention you need to do what you're doing is less than what it should be. This is why children find it difficult paying attention in the classroom or when they're doing something else like watching TV. The second D means disorder. This explains that children have a genuine reason for not being able to pay enough attention or follow class instructions. Some children who have attention deficits have times of hyperactivity (ADHD) and times without hyperactivity (ADD). When parents and teachers know you have ADHD and/or ADD they can help you with your hyperactivity and attention deficits. 

Daily Routine Cards

It can be a struggle for children with ADHD or ADD to get ready for school because they find it hard falling asleep and so getting out of bed in the morning is not easy. Not getting much sleep makes children get easily distracted which makes them forget what they are supposed to be doing. 

Jasmine and Johnny have these problems. Daily routine cards have helped them know exactly what they need to do each day. The pictures opposite are to help with their morning routine - getting up, eating breakfast and getting dressed. They have other routine cards too, which are to help them to know what to do after coming home from school and also getting ready for bed. 

When Jasmine and Johnny have finished the task on the first routine card they simply turn the card over then go on to the next one until they've done all their tasks and the cards are all turned over. 

You might want to add more tasks to your morning routine list, like brushing your hair, getting washed, cleaning your teeth, putting on your shoes and picking up your school bag. Ask your grown-up to help you write these separately on pieces of card, then turn each one over as you do them, and as part of your daily routine! You'll be great at this, I'm sure...

Get creative

It's easy to make your own routine cards and they are helpful for all children to focus on what they need to do, not just children with attention problems. All you need is some white card, safety scissors, and some coloured pencils and a grown-up to help you. You can make daily timetables, homework timetables and more!

Creative sticker charts

Ask your parents to click on the link to find some fantastic Sticker Charts


Your parents can reward you with stickers when you've successfully turned over all your cards for each day. I wonder what your reward will be! :-) 

Daily routine charts for older children

This is a daily routine chart for children who are little bit older. Simply fill in your tasks down each column for each day. You can get creative with card and coloured pencils or you could use a computer to make up your own designs and tasks for every day of the week. Have fun, and make your day super cool...

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It's sad when children get bullied, and this can be made worse if you have other problems to cope with. If you're being bullied, it's really important to tell someone you know you can trust, like your parent, teacher or a family friend so that you can be supported. Telling someone you know and trust can help the bully or bullies get help to stop. Never be afraid to tell a grown-up you know and trust because they are usually responsible and will know what to do. 

The link below will give you and your parents 

Advice about Bullying


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Quiz Time! 

Here are some questions about what you've just learned!

 Caring Carol says please ask your grown-up to help you find the answers!

  1. When children have ADHD or ADD they find it difficult paying ---------.
  2. What can help children focus on what they need to do each day?
  3. When you feel depressed it means you often feel lots of different emotions, like feeling agitated, sad, low or angry. Think of some ways you could you distract yourself to help these feelings pass? 
  4. Write two things you've learned about Tourette's syndrome and tics.
  5. What is the best thing to do if you're being bullied; and also when your depressed feelings won't go away?
for finishing all of your lessons!
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If you'd like to send all your answers from each lesson you can go to Caring Carol's contact page, and she will mark them and be delighted to send you a certificate to show how well you've done! All you need to do is ask your grown up to help you cut and paste your answers into the message box.

 A special message

I'm so glad that you and your grown-up came along and learnt lots of things about OCD and other problems that may be upsetting you, like managing ADHD, tics or feeling sad. 

Do remember to talk to someone you know and trust who will understand about your problems because this can help you feel better about things. And one more thing - do tell someone you can trust if you're being bullied.

Here is a BIG THANK YOU for taking the time to visit OCDKidsWeb, and feel free to visit again any time you need to remember something or to find out if I've included anything new!

From Caring Carol :-)

Parent and caregivers summary box

The learning outcome for this lesson is for children to learn to recognise and understand different behaviours in themselves or those around them. The strategies on this page can be used to implement and/or be adapted to suit your child's needs. In terms of praise, it's important to reward your child for even the smallest efforts. Click here for rewards and incentives

More on OCDKidsWeb

10 step guide to help differentiate OCD from Asperger's


Your child's feedback reports

Contact Page

Could Your Child Be Depressed?

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