Tic and Tourette syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder which involves symptoms such as sudden twitches, movements or sounds and can be categorized into motor tics, vocal tics, and complex tics. Symptoms generally begin at ages 5-7 and the frequency and severity of the symptoms increase until ages 10-11. The syndrome is more prevalent among male children and the severity of the symptoms tends to decrease as the child approaches adulthood. According to research, 1 to 8 children out of 1,000 and 12-18% of school-aged children display Tourette syndrome.
These children often suffer from the misconception that tic symptoms are intentional and can be controlled; however, it is a neurological disorder that can be exacerbated by major life events and lifestyle.
Research has found that 50% of children with tic or Tourette symptoms also have ADHD. The syndrome is also often accompanied by learning disorders particularly in math and reading. Further, 30-40% of these children display Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and the incidence of depression is also high. Tic symptoms significantly reduce social, educational, and occupational functioning, and both young and adult patients alike report difficulties in peer relationships.
The symptoms and characteristics of tic and Tourette syndrome are as follow:
- Nose or mouth twitching
- Head shaking
- Shoulder shrugging
- Abdominal tensing
- Rapid jerking of any part of the body
Complex motor tics
- Tensing of chest, abdominal or limb muscles
- Bending or gyrating
- Facial grimacing combined with a head twist or a shoulder shrug
- Rubbing or tapping objects and/or people
- Imitating movements
- Clapping, throwing, or pinching
Please contact us if your child is currently experiencing any of the symptoms above.