Tic Disorder

Many children may experience tics at some point during their childhood. Tics are sudden, rapid, recurrent, nonrhythmic motor movements or vocalizations. But when these tics become persistent, cannot be resisted, and interfere with functioning, a tic disorder may need to be considered. Approximately 1 in 4 children have some tic disorder, and tic disorders are more common in children with ADHD.

There are two main types of tics: verbal and motor. In each, there are also simple and complex tics.
Simple verbal tics include sounds such as grunting, coughing, and throat clearing.
Complex verbal tics include words and phrases. While coprolalia, or swearing, is often shown in movies, it is relatively uncommon.
Simple motor tics include movements such as blinking and single movements; complex motor tics include combinations of motor movements. When both multiple motor and vocal tics have been present, a diagnosis of Tourette’s Disorder may be suggested.

Resources: For more information on tic disorders, visit Tourette Canada or The Tourette OCD Alberta Network at the University of Calgary.