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Thread: Balloon Art Therapy for Tourette

  1. #1
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    Default Balloon Art Therapy for Tourette

    ?Red Skelton told me: ?You're going to be just like me - maybe even better,'?

    That sparked his interest in balloon animals, Bartlett said.

    ?I started watching other clowns who made balloon animals. I started going to libraries all over to find books on it. I studied it. Now, I know balloons from head to toe.?

    Making balloon figures is a kind of therapy, he said.

    ?When I'm working on balloons, my mind is focused,? he said. ?All my twitching, all my swearing is gone. I have to have something to do with my hands.?

    Read the bittersweet story about this remarkable man with Tourette Syndrome whose life has been very difficult. Click Here for Full Story

  2. #2

    Default Balloon Art Therapy for Tourette

    I found that article very interesting and I can relate to it in a way, as I too notice that my tics decrease when my hands have something small to focus on. I'm glad for him that he has found something that he can do that he enjoys that also decreases his tics. I have yet to find what I can do in everyday life to decrease my tics. For awhile I was making gimp bracelets which was something simple that I could do anywhere and easily under my desk without looking during school so that it wasnt a problem with teachers. But eventually I was making them so quickly that I would make 5 or 6 a day, and I just had too many lying around the house and nothing to do with them so I had to stop. I am still looking for another little activity like that, so if anyone has any ideas let me know!
    Steph
    ~be a miracle~

  3. #3
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    Default Balloon Art Therapy for Tourette

    Steph,

    Activities that require deep focus and concentration seem to decrease tic activity as you have discovered. Most people with Tourette find intensive activities to be more relaxing than the general population.

    If you are good with your hands, you ever worked with a Dremel tool? A Dremel tool can be used for carving in wood or other soft materials. Many people use a Dremel for carving birds out of wood..a subject on which there is loads of information at the library and on the Dremel website.

    My own experience with a Dremel tool is carving small figures out of scrap Corian, the stuff that's used on countertops, but wood is easier to get and softer to work with.

    If you decide to use a Dremel tool, be sure to use protective eye ware.

    Does this sound like it might be of interest to you?

  4. #4

    Default Balloon Art Therapy for Tourette

    A Dremel tool sounds like it could be a good thing for me to do when I am at home and need to relax or something. I will have to see if I can get my hands on one! Thanks for the suggestion!

    Unfortunately since I can't exactly use a Dremel tool under my desk at school :D , I am also going to have to find something to do then. Does anyone have any ideas of something simple I can do in situations like that? All suggestions are welcome!
    Steph
    ~be a miracle~

  5. #5
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    Default Balloon Art Therapy for Tourette

    Steph:

    I picked up a translucent ball about the size of your palm. Not having any true colour it is not noticeable to anyone else when I use it. It is very soft and almost like silicone.

    I can prove this because it sits in my paper clip tray on my desk and if my son saw it he would be playing with it.

    When I am trying to focus, I take the ball and squeeze it tucking it between two fingers at a time while resting in my palm & against my thumb.
    It is something you can't very well do if you don't think about it and it calms me down and helps me focus. It also helps my motor skills from a previous injury.

    You can find them in the exercise dept of a grocery store or some office store places. They cost less then $2 so they fit any budget.

    As long as your teacher realizes what you are doing it can be used under your desk top without anyone really caring.

    Hopefully this is a tip you can try that might work.
    PJK

  6. #6
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    Default Balloon Art Therapy for Tourette

    Unfortunately since I can't exactly use a Dremel tool under my desk at school
    Good point! :P :P

  7. #7

    Default Balloon Art Therapy for Tourette

    PJK,

    I'm not really sure I understand what it is you are doing with the ball in your hands. It sounds like this could possibly be a good thing for me to do, especially because it is not very noticeable, but I guess I'm just not clear on what you mean. Maybe you could try explaining another way? Thanks!
    Steph
    ~be a miracle~

  8. #8
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    Default Balloon Art Therapy for Tourette

    Steph:

    I have some nerve problems with my hand due to some neurological problems I had years ago and is the left over from physiotherapy.

    I also have a pattern problem with my thought process when very stressed or over worked (again from previous damage).

    The technique I use is from therapy, but once you try it you will see, it takes focus to do it unlike just squeezing an object in your hand.

    You place the ball in your palm, supporting it with your thumb raised, you pull two fingers apart a bit at a time like making the peace sign and squeeze each time.

    Regrettably it is not easy to explain on the net but works for me.

    It helps relax me to clear my thought pattern while tackling the task I am doing at the time.

    Hope this helps for someone else....

    Take care,
    PJK

  9. #9

    Default Balloon Art Therapy for Tourette

    Thanks PJK, that technique sounds good, hopefully it will be of some effect for me as well. It can keep my hands busy, and be of repitition as well, which is always good.

    Thanks for the idea!
    Steph
    ~be a miracle~

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