Tics are rapid, purposeless, unvoluntary, unrhythmic, repetitive, frequent, unwanted, and discrete muscle movements. Tics are typically classified as motor or vocal tics. Motor tics include blinking, neck rotation, torso twisting, jumping, toe flexing, and countless other movements. Vocal tics include numerous vocalizations including coughing, making a hum or grunt sound, and saying a word or phrase.
Please consult with a neurologists specializing in tics if you are experiencing distress related to sudden and involuntary movements or vocalizations. It is important to have a comprehensive evaluation and proper diagnosis to proceed with effective care. Common tic disorders and their diagnostic criteria are described below:
Provisional Tic Disorder
Persistent Tic Disorder
Tourette Syndrome (Tourette Disorder, Tourette's, TS)
It should be noted that tics related to Tourette Syndrome first occur in early childhood and then tend to last off and on for an extended time. Tics also start very gradually, with only one new tic emerging at a time. There is no sudden onset of multiple tics.
Many people with Tourette Syndrome have co-occuring concerns including anxiety, depression, Autism, OCD, ADHD, gender dysphoria, dysgraphia, and difficulty with executive functioning tasks. There also is some correlation with Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB) such as excessive nail biting or skin picking, and Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) such as tic-like behaviors.
To learn more about Tourette Syndrome and other tic disorders, please visit the Tourette Association of America website.
Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) is the leading intervention strategy for tic disorders including Tourette Syndrome. CBIT has also been adapted for telehealth to address some Functional Motor Disorders (FMD) and Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB). CBIT is provided by licensed health professionals with a specialized certification in CBIT.
CBIT treatment often includes the following components:
Click here to learn more about CBIT .
This documentary by the Tourette Association of America features children and adolescents with tics and Tourette Syndrome chronicling their lived experience with tics. Topics of discussion include bullying, difficulty fitting in, embarrassment, sadness, hope, resilience, and camaradarie.
Explaining CBIT, tics, and Tourette Syndrome is easier with the help of a social story.
You are not alone.
Click here to contact a tic / Tourette support group in the United States.
Reach out for additional information about CBIT and support for tics and Tourette Syndrome at the Tourette Association of America.
Reach out to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) for free and confidential guidance while on the job and when seeking new work.