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Tic disorders (Tourette Syndrome)

Tourette Syndrome, is the most commonly known of the 3 types of Tic Disorders. Tourette Syndrome and ADHD frequently co-occur. Over half of children diagnosed with Tourette are also diagnosed with ADHD. While about 1 in 5 children with ADHD also have Tourette Syndrome or some form of Tic Disorder.

Tic disorders are neurodevelopmental disorders. Symptom onset has to occur before age 18 to meet the diagnostic criteria.

The 3 types of Tic Disorders are:

  • Provisional Tic Disorder (lasting less than a year)

  • Persistent (chronic) Motor or Vocal Tic Disorder (lasting a year or longer)

  • Tourette Syndrome, also known as Tourette’s disorder (both motor and vocal tics, numerous and frequent, lasting more than a year)

But what are Tics?

Tics are movements or sounds that are abrupt, quick, repeating, and non-rhythmic. These actions are involuntary in the sense that an individual can repress them for a brief period of time but ultimately has no control over them. Tics are prevalent throughout childhood and usually disappear by the time a person reaches adulthood. Boys are three times more likely than girls to develop tics.

Eye blinking, mouth opening, face grimacing, head motions, shoulder shrugging, or combinations of these actions are examples of motor tics. Throat clearing, coughing, sniffing, barking, snorting, repeating portions of words or phrases, or, in rare cases, blurting obscene or inappropriate remarks are examples of vocal tics.


  1. CHADD. ADHD and Tics or Tourette Syndrome - CHADD. CHADD. Published December 14, 2021. Accessed March 10, 2022.

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