Tic Disorders

Tics are sudden rapid motor movements (e.g., twitches) or vocalizations (e.g., throat clearing) or both. They are most commonly experienced as involuntary, but they can be suppressed for a period of time. Tics are common in children, and they wax and wane over time. Tics vary from child to child and can include blinking, barking, coughing, repeating a word or a complex body movement. They are most severe between ages of 10 and 12 years, but the severity diminishes during adolescence. Tics are more common in boys than girls. To have a diagnosis of Tourette’s disorder, one must have both vocal and motor tics persistent for over a year.