Dealing With TS and Mental Health Amid the Coronavirus Spread

Brian Lane, M.A.E., School Administrator, Behavior Specialist and Tourette Association of America (TAA) Education Advisory Board and Diversity Committee Member and Katie Allensworth, Registered Nurse and TAA Rising Leader,  addressed COVID-19 as it relates to the Tourette and Tic Disorder community.

The discussion centered on taking care of your emotional, social and physical well-being during this confusing and stressful time. Included is tips such as managing anxiety, OCD and depression; coping with coughing/sneezing (and other COVID-19 related) tics; and managing time/education at home; surviving social distancing with TS and Tic Disorders; and, taking COVID-19 seriously. 

Webinar Take-Aways

Dealing with TS during Coronavirus Pandemic
  • Discussed the impact of stress, anxiety and uncertainty during pandemic.
  • Using coping skills to manage anxiety, OCD, depression, ADHD
    • Making and following a routine, limiting media exposure, reaching out to friends and family for support, continuing to contact health providers, doing enjoyable activities.
  • Handling being out of work/school
    • Staying positive, using local resources, creating breaks between online school
    • Communicating and being compassionate with family members while home more frequently.
  • Strategies for managing children with increased tics
    • Having designated tic areas in the house, take physical breaks that are distanced from each family member
    • Go outside and release some of the energy
    • Maintain a schedule to create normalcy
  • Coughing/sneezing tics
  • Not worrying about focusing on tics because increases severity, use skills that work with other tics
    • Disclosing TS when asked about TS
    • TAA resources for disclosing
      • TAA card and pamphlets
  • Taking COVID seriously
    • Compassion with family members and educating them