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Help for Tourette syndrome available in Asheville

Jarod Coffey is one of the few behavioral providers in North Carolina offering comprehensive intervention for tics stemming from Tourette syndrome. Twelve-year-old Aidan Hughes has dealt with tics since kindergarten, and they've gotten worse. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

A diagnosis of Tourette syndrome is difficult enough, but getting the right treatment can prove even more challenging.

One family was able to find help here in Asheville.

Mission Children's licensed clinical social worker Jarod Coffey is one of the few behavioral providers in North Carolina offering comprehensive intervention for tics stemming from Tourette syndrome.

Twelve-year-old Aidan Hughes has dealt with tics since kindergarten, and they've gotten worse.

"When we got here, his tics were very bad," Aidan's mother Kelly Hughes said. "He had a nose tic like he was blowing out, and it was making a noise."

"It's like the sudden urge to do something, and you can't control," Aidan added.

"He had some motor tics, too," Kelly continued. "It involved his neck and his arms ... and just very distracting."

"We worked the protocol and went tic by tic and helped him develop techniques that he could effectively use to control his tics," Coffey said.

The result was almost immediate.

"It was night and day. He was a different kid," recalled Kelly. "I had my boy back."

"If you do your exercises often, it's really easy to get rid of your tics," Aidan added.

"We just want patients to have good control over their tics daily, and, if that's able to be done without medication, then that's great," Coffey said.

Free from medication and tics, Aidan is more confident than ever, with better social skills and improved quality of life as long as he does his exercises.

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