Alternative therapies for 8 yr old with Tourette's

Hi, my daughter is 8yrs and has had Tourette's for around 3 years. It is becoming more obvious as she ages and she is becoming very aware of her tics now. Really don't want to head down the medication road but she is becoming an anxious child which is a vicious cycle as the more anxious she gets the worse the tics become. Does anyone know of any other options that are out there to give her the tools to cope and accept her tics?

She is a very bright girl and loves to be around horses, her tics drastically reduce when on the yard with the horses and we were told when she finds her thing it will give her some temporary relief from them. She now has her own pony and when not at school spends every minute with the horses. The second we get in the car to leave the yard the tics return. I see her distress and as parents we feel totally useless and desperately feel the need to find her some way of finding relief when away from the horses.

Any similar experiences or suggestions shared would be great fully appreciated.

Bright blessings X

2 Replies

  • Hi Peaches11 thanks for your question. Medication is not the only treatment option for managing tics. Behavioural therapy is a popular approach to managing tics, especially in young people. Tourettes Action have lots of information about behavioural therapy on their website which you can access here:

    If you contact the Tourettes Action helpdesk, they will also be able to send you a list of therapists in the UK who offer this treatment. The helpdesk is open Monday to Friday, 9am - 3pm 0300 777 8427 or email

    Tourettes Action also have an information sheet on diet and nutritional supplements which you can find here:

    There is also a documentary featuring renowned neurologist Dr Sacks and a man with TS called Shane Fistell, part of which looks at Shane's relationship with horses which I thought might be of interest:

    Best wishes


  • For me, it would depend how severe the Tourette's was and how much it was affecting her life. Two of my children have severe Tourette's and would not have achieved as much as they have without the help from medication. A low dose of something appropriate may also help her manage psychological therapies better.

    My daughter also suffers from anxiety in amongst everything else - and has benefited from being on Propanalol - a beta blocker. Not every medication used in Tourette's has scary side effects. I would keep a broad mind about this

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