COPING WITH TOURETTE'S SYNDROME: AN INVESTIGATION OF FAMILY NEEDS (CHRONIC ILLNESS, FAMILY RELATIONS, CHILD ABUSE)
The purpose of this study was to furnish counselors with data that would enable them to provide more effective guidance to Tourette's clients and their families. A preliminary source of information was obtained from the family's written answers on the demographic data form. It was, however, the individual family member's verbal responses to five "open-ended" interview questions posed by the investigator that was the primary source of data. The interview questions were designed to disclose those aspects of Tourette's syndrome that participating families designated as problematic, the methods they employed to resolve those problems, their perception of the success or failure of those efforts, and those occasions when they recognized the need for professional counseling services. Since this is a pioneering study with a small sample, the results are inconclusive. This study did identify, however, such areas for further investigation as: initial symptom differentiation between hyperactivity and Tourette's syndrome; the extent and nature of abuse of afflicted children prior to and after diagnosis is confirmed; the source of distancing in the father-afflicted son relationship; the presence or absence of differences in child-rearing practices between siblings; the long-term effects of social isolation upon the Tourette's syndrome victim; the extent of devalued identity and diminished self-esteem among victims; and the source of the depression that frequently afflicts those with Tourette's syndrome. The data from this study indicate that therapists should: obtain an appropriate data base for differential diagnosis between hyperactivity and Tourette's syndrome; provide parents with sufficient information to enable them to make an informed decision about pharmacotherapy; assess the dynamics of family functioning for potential and actual abusive behaviors; assist teachers and parents to provide opportunities for the afflicted child to have positive interactions with peers; and explore alternatives to antidepressant therapy for those suffering from depression.
I. CAROLE STRUTZ,
"COPING WITH TOURETTE'S SYNDROME: AN INVESTIGATION OF FAMILY NEEDS (CHRONIC ILLNESS, FAMILY RELATIONS, CHILD ABUSE)"
(January 1, 1984).
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