Tourette Syndrome Program
The Pennsylvania Department of Health provides support to the Pennsylvania Tourette Syndrome Alliance (PA-TSA), Inc., to locate, contact and support individuals diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome (TS). PA-TSA, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to serving the needs of individuals and families dealing with TS by providing statewide community-based, cost-free and non-legal support in the areas of:
- information and referral
- education materials
- individual education programs
- support groups, and
- training and workshops
PA-TSA can be contacted at 717-337-1134 or toll free at 1-800-990-3300 or by visiting them online at
www.patsainc.org. Whether you are an individual with Tourette Syndrome, an educator, a health care professional or other service provider, or a family member or friend of someone with TS, PA-TSA has information and resources on the site that you will find helpful.
What is Tourette Syndrome?
- Tourette Syndrome is an inherited neurobiological disorder characterized by tics---involuntary, rapid, sudden movements or vocalizations that occur repeatedly.
- The onset of these symptoms is always before age 18.
- Tourette Syndrome is not degenerative; intelligence and life span are no different from that of the general population.
- Individuals with this condition have symptoms that vary from very mild to very severe.
- The majority of cases are characterized as mild.
- Medication is available to assist in the control of the expression of tics.
- Some Tourette Syndrome symptoms are viewed by the uninformed as bizarre, disruptive and frightening.
- Children with Tourette Syndrome often experience ridicule and rejection by peers, teachers, neighbors and even casual observers because of these symptoms.
- There is no cure for this condition. During the teenage years symptoms can become more complex. However, as teens mature many experience marked improvement in their early twenties.
- Other conditions often accompany Tourette Syndrome:
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- Anxiety and Learning Disabilities