Tourette's syndrome is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by involuntary vocal mad motor tics. Sufferers may also exhibit features common to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorders, in addition to anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Parents attending the monthly Tourette's Syndrome Clinic at Great Ormond Street Hospital voiced concerns about their child's apparent social isolation and difficulty making friends. These children were offered the opportunity to participate in a social skills programme. Just over half of the children had low self-esteem in relation to social and academic situations. We adapted an existing programme with the intention of addressing some of the social difficulties associated with Tourette's syndrome and also to bring these children together in order to share their experiences. At the end of the programme children showed small increases in overall self-esteem. Reports from both parents and children suggested that all had benefitted from participation. This project resulted in the setting-up of a monthly support group for parents and children, an evaluation of which is currently underway.
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