Daily functioning of children with Tourette syndrome: An exploratory study
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Objective: This retrospective study sought to identify the functional limitations in occupations, body functions, and performance skills, during periods of increased symptoms (waxing periods) and periods of decreased symptoms (waning periods) in children with Tourette syndrome (TS). Additionally, relevant demographic and health factors and frequency of occupational therapy intervention were explored. Method: Parents of 32 children with TS under the age of 18 participated in an online survey based on the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process - Third Edition. Results: The children with TS experienced difficulty in functional performance of all occupations, body functions, and performance skills to varying degrees during a waxing period, with the majority experiencing difficulty in sleep, rest, handwriting, participating in organized activities, all mental functions, tactile (touch) perception, and ability to suppress tics.. Demographic and health factors predicting functional limitations in theses areas were age, gender, and the comorbid symptoms of anxiety disorders and sensory processing disorder. Fewer than one-third of the children had ever received occupational therapy intervention. Conclusion: These results suggest a strong role for occupational therapy during evaluation and intervention for children with TS. The findings could be used to guide occupational therapy practice and provide basic knowledge for parents and other related professionals to support the daily functioning of these children. Future research exploring the effectiveness of occupational therapy intervention including those aimed at sensory processing, tic management, and anxiety symptom reduction is needed.