A MUM who has been left in tears countless times after struggling to cope raising a son with Tourette’s says she is at the end of her tether due to the lack of help available for youngsters with the condition.

Becca, who works for Bolton at Home, is frustrated with the healthcare system, after being unable to get the help she needs for her child.

Six-year-old Luca, who has just completed year one at Johnson Fold Primary School, was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome in September 2020. He was previously misdiagnosed with autism.

The condition affects around one in every 100 children in the UK.

Read more: Tourette syndrome campaigner’s ‘cry for help’

The family was referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, but because the family has refused to accept a prescription for medication for Luca, they have been told that no further help is available – despite the medication offered not being specifically for people with Tourette’s.

Becca said: “There’s no help unless we agree to the medication. It’s so sad because it’s affecting his everyday life.

“We started noticing tics around three years ago, and doctors always said that they would disappear, but if anything they’ve become more severe.”

Certain triggers make Luca’s symptoms worse – for example, mum Becca has to limit his sugar intake, and stressful situations and times of fatigue can also make his tics worsen.

Read more: The science behind Tourette's: What makes people tic?

Because Luca tries to suppress his tics through the school day, he experiences what are called “tic fits” when he returns home in the afternoon.

Becca said: “The support that the school has given has been amazing – but we just aren’t getting the help we need on the medical side of things.

“It’s been very stressful. I’ve cried quite a few times and it’s just so frustrating seeing him get upset.

“The home-schooling situation during lockdown has been particularly difficult, because he likes his routine. He finds it really difficult to write someimes because of his motor tics.

“We are absolutely at our wits end.”

And the physical impacts can be just as challenging to deal with. Luca digs his nails in to his forehead, which often leave scarring.