108

The early warning signs of tics and Tourette Syndrome

This winter break, I have spent some time thinking about why I wasn’t diagnosed sooner and why my mom did not see the early warning signs as warning signs as part of the larger picture for a TS+ child.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term TS+, it stands for Tourette Syndrome in combination with the co-morbid conditions that commonly come along with Tourette. I myself have OCD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Panic Attack Disorder (although I haven’t had a major, full-fledged panic attack in about two years), and impulsivity issues also known as disinhibition.

Some other co-morbid disorders that can come along with TS are ADD, ADHD, mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, rage issues and other disorders as well.

In this post, I will outline and summarize two of the main types of tics that are warning signs for TS+ in a younger child anywhere from the ages of 2 years old to a middle school-aged child.

It is important to remember that in order for the types of things I describe to be tics, that they must be repetitive in the sense that you will see your child doing these things over and over again throughout the week, month or even day.

1) One of the first classic warning signs for the TS+ child is a simple tic, usually in the face. Simple facial tics like eye blinking, slight facial grimacing or slight facial twitching will usually be the first tic a child has. After a child’s first simple tic, other tics may develop in the trunk, arms and legs. A simple tic, however, is not always the first tic for a child, and each child with TS or TS+ will differ in the way they present with various symptoms.

TS is a very unique disorder as a result of the fact that every case is different, which includes the way the symptoms start. I think my first tic was a slight facial grimace; however, it was so subtle that neither myself nor my parents can be 100 percent sure.

I have seen videos and pictures of myself that make it look like this was my first tic, which started when I was about 3-4 years old and probably continued in the same way until a little after 1st or 2nd grade. I seem to find pictures of myself around this age all with a very similar positioning of my face, which also makes me think this may have been my first tic.

The tic looks like it was a slight facial grimace in some pictures but then looks like a much larger facial movement in other pictures. I really don’t think my parents even noticed it at the time. They probably thought I was just a “twitchy” or “nervous” kid.

2) For some kids, they have more complex tics as children, and for some these more complex tics can even come before the more simple tics. It is a little less typical for a child to get complex tics before simple tics, but it can certainly happen.

One type of complex tic that can be common in children is what I call a compulsion-like tic. These tics appear to be more like compulsions but are tics none the less. Complex compulsion-like tics are very common in children to show up at some point in childhood and more commonly show up after simple tics show up.

Some examples of compulsion-like tics that I had personally when I was younger are skipping, lip/skin picking, lip licking, lip biting, hair sucking, hand/finger smelling, sating off into space/doubling vision, grabbing at various parts of the body, putting hands down pants, and shirt or sleeve chewing.

Some other possible compulsion like tics are hand/finger licking, stomping, and other types of complex body movements. It is important to remember that although these tics look more purposeful in nature than something like a simple eye blink, they are tics nonetheless and the child has no more control over these tics than a simple tic. Asking your child to stop doing these kinds of tics will only make them worse.

SHARE THIS POST

RuthieP

108 Comments

  1. Hi im 13 i live in the us i started ticing recently and i even kicked over my table but my family never noticed anything and now im in alot of pain and i think its caused by it and i dont know what to do somone please help

  2. I started ticcing maybe 7 months ago. IR was just clearing my throat. It evolved into also having to cough, coughing till almost vomiting and sniffing. I also open my mouth really whide and sometimes I blink rapidly and roll my eyes back. My parents don’t think there is anything wrong at all. I’m afraid to adress the issue cause they didn’t belief me other times (like when I tould them about my suspision of having ads what was later confirmed by a doctor) and that they will again say I’m doing it for attention. I don’t know how to even start the conversation or shohld I just go to a doctor first and talk to them? :/ I’m 16 by the way and feel really helpless about all of this

    • Hi Noel, Please see your doctor or school nurse. Visit Youtube or Twitter and search for other teens who are living with TS.

    • Noel, Hi my name is Jackie and I’m 49 and have a 9yr old grandson who lives with me. I just want u too know u are never alone! There is help and support for u! I would encourage u to reach out to an aunt, uncle,grandparent or a trusted teacher. You may also conside a close friends mom or dad.
      Please post an update! My Thoughs and prayers are with you!

  3. My husband is suffering from Tourettes l have three kids first two were born with age different of three years but my third child was born after 17 years my two elder are ok no Tourette sign but third child who is 3years now recently l have noticed that he tic as his father and also gets angry with people l don’t now what to do l am worried l never took any medicine while carrying him l am worried how will my son life will be

  4. I’m 12 and I just started randomly jerking my neck back. It happens mostly when I’m sitting or lying down, and sometimes it’s so violent I get cramps all through my shoulders and down my spine. I can stop it, but it feels like I’m holding back a cough. I also sometimes make a small sound in the back of my throat that’s barely noticeable, and this is usually while I’m writing something down. I sometimes shout in small, quick bursts and I play it off as though I did it on purpose so my friends don’t think I’m crazy, but it just happens randomly. Sometimes I take a huge breath in and tighten up my chest.

    I have been diagnosed with severe depression and mild anxiety, and I’m not sure if my twitches are because of anxiety or actual tourette’s. I also have asthma, so the breathing one might not be a tic.

    I’m not entirely sure what to do.

    • My face just randomly twitches like near my eyes,nose,cheeks and forehead is that an early sign of Tourette’s?!

  5. i also forgot to mention that my knees start to shake so fast when more than two people re looking atme and i physically cant stop it …i also have been swallowing for no reason at random times

    • Hi Mckay….please speak to your parents who may bring you to the pediatrician. You can also reach out to your school nurse for support. You are definitely not alone.

  6. I am 14 years old and I sometimes flick my wrist, twitch my head , make weird groaning noises…I can stop myself but I when i do I feels like for example holding in a sneeze and I just have to let it out. Please help.I dont know what to do.

    • I’m 14 too and similar things are happening to be as well, I don’t flick my wrists as often, but whenever a tic leaves another shows up. I started to make a clicking noise in the back of my throat (especially when I’m eating) and it won’t stop. And I also find myself caughing all the time, I’m starting to get a little worried what’s wrong, but I hopefully I’ll just grow out of it all.

        • Hi Preston. Yes, you may outgrow it. Either way, bring it up to your pediatrician at your next visit.

  7. My son is 5 and has always blinked his eyes and he licks his face until the skin is off. I had his eyes tested but they said he was to young. He was two at the time. Nothing wrong with his speech or mind. I always just called them tics but afyer watching americas got talent I saw a man that reminded me so much of Michael. I live in Grand Rapids Mi. Where woyld I take him? Primary?

  8. Although at 7 ( I am now 77) I showed classic signs of tourretts it went undiagnosed as it was not widely known about those days. Then my daughter 25 was diagnosed at London hospital for nervous deseases. Now my grandson ( from another daughter) has been diagnosed at 7 (now 15 also OCD) a high achiever he is constantly being bullied by a certain teacher who is constantly telling him to stop fidgetting , etc.the school are aware of his TS and My grandson has tried explaining about it but the teacher will not hear of it. Even told him he does not have TS as he knows what it really is! He now threatens to E mail his mum whenever he forgets etc. Indeed the teacher is constantly e mailing my daughter complaining he cannot stand his fidgetting and loud voice but he refuses to stop!.ALL l his teachers give him A+ this one C & D’s ! The child loses time off school frequently due to regular surgery! Now this is really upsetting him, which adds to the severity of the TS for which he has medication. Coming upto his O level year I worry as his confidence is falling and he now reacts to the teacher in a way alien to how he has been brought up. It is bordering on bullying from the teacher! Who also has problems with other children. What do we do without making matters even more embarrassing for him. I am proud of how he has dealt with his TS over the years and know he has a long battle ahead with people’s ignorance of the disorder.

  9. i’m 15 and long recntly has my thigh be gone “tics” (or so i think) it happens mainly whenever i lay on it but it had gone away for a few days and now it’s back, suggestions?

  10. I’m a 13 year old boy and I think I have turrets syndrome because I will blow on my hands or start to rub my hands on my face for a few seconds and then it stops please if anyone can give me answers please reply

    • Hi Mike. You should talk to your parents and your pediatrician, especially if it’s been going on for a while.

  11. My name is ben and i have been twitching my nose voluntarily very often like every 5 seconds i like it at that moment but i also want to stop i dont know if this is a tic or what

  12. My name is Ben and i have been twitching my nose voluntaraly and i like doing that but at the same time i want to stop.

  13. Hey. So idk it I have it or not. But lately I’ve been “ticking” (btw I’m 13 and could possibly have anxiety disorder and depression I haven’t been diagnosed but my mom and friends think I do)and idk if they are tics. But I’ll gerk my head to the side, make my shoulders go up to my neck (like a turtle) sometimes not often I’ll say f you or f off or sniff intensely. And I don’t think my mom has noticed and normally when I tell her things she blows it off her shoulders.

    • Hi Jack,
      Have you talked to the school nurse? Perhaps they can reach out to your mom.

  14. Some one please help.
    I am a 14 year old girl.

    So I’ve been ticing, if they actually are tics.
    I’ve always ticed, ever since I was a little kid in primary school. I would mention it to my parents and they would ignore it, I thought it was an issue.
    All of these happened quickly.

    1.my arm will randomly twitch out and I usually tingle a little before but I won’t actually realize it’s happened until after.

    2.my head will tilt to the side my eyes will scrunch and my arms will come up to my chest in a fist shape. this one has been happening for a long time. my parents have even witnessed this but won’t take me go the doctor.

    2.my head will twitch to the side and my eyes will scrunch.

    3.i was watching a Rowan video and he was ticing really bad and I started to twitch really bad again and I know that when others with Tourettes see someone else with it tic, it’s usually a trigger and they tic.

    4.my head will turn to the side and up a little twice.

    4.i blink an unusual amount, even mentioning doing it is making me do it.
    That’s how it’s been mentioning all of these, I’ve done the head ones alot since talking about them but the arms ones haven’t happened often this week.

    5.i comb my hand through my hair nonstop, people always comment on why I’m doing it but I don’t know. People always comment on why I’m doing this stuff but I have no explanation.

    6.ill make this hiccupish noise?? It’s very hard to describe. My parents have heard it multiple times. They’ve heard/seen all if this.

    7.my vision randomly blurs. Once again, I’ve mentioned that to my parents and they have ignored it. I want to go to the doctor. People ask me what I’m doing and I have no explanation. I want to have an explanation, not even for them but for me. Someone respond so I have any sense of idea what my be wrong before confronting my parents.
    Please help, I want to figure what is wrong with me.

  15. Hi, I’m a 14-year-old female who has been having the same ‘tics’ (if they even are tics) for a while now. The one I’ve had for the longest is jiggling my left or right knee, or feet when I’m sitting, and jerking my neck until it feels ‘normal’ again. My other one is cracking my neck and fingers repeatedly. The one I get the most is cracking my neck and jerking my neck. Whenever I’m about to jerk my head I get this rising feeling and it feels like I need to do it or it will just stay there. I was watching some stuff about Tourette’s Syndrome but idk if I have it. I don’t have any vocal tics, but I’ve had these ones for more than 4 weeks. I might also mention I have mild possible ADHD, and severe anxiety and depression. Please help.

    • I forgot to mention I took an OCD test and it said I have high OCD. Another tic I might have is that whenever I try to resist jerking my neck I always yawn immediately after. I just yawned. “Your score: 82
      A score in this range indicates that your obsessive and/or compulsive tendencies are very high and well above the “normal” range.

  16. I keep on stretching my arms and legs randomly and it’s becoming uncontrollable pleas help

    • I do the same thing where I stretch my wrists and extend my arms all the way. I also get weird twitches in my legs. Also maybe once a day I get a neck jerk. Please tell me what’s happenining. Thank you.

  17. My son has just turned 8 and his behaviour is becoming a concern. He is always smelling his fingers for as long as I can remember he has also just started blinking a lot and eye rolling, he does this every 15 mins all day long. He also has explosive rages for the littlest things and becomes very violent, the gpnis referring him to Camhs but the wait is very long I believe. Any advice or help would be greatful.

    • Hi Gemma, my son had tantrums too, we put him on the Feingold diet and they stopped. Look into that, give it a try and see if that helps. He is a teen now, and can tell if he eats anything with the dreaded “artificials”, his brain feels different. He was diagnosed with celiac last year, removing gluten put an end to all his adhd symptoms. I hope you find answers.

  18. I’m 14 and I’ve always had habits but I don’t know if these are habits because they seem repetitive and hard to control. I flex or “twitch” my arm, I move my neck, constantly pop my fingers, and flex/ twitch my legs, I also constantly adjust my clothes. Someone please help me understand because it makes me embarrassed when people ask why my arm is twitching or why I’m moving my neck.

  19. hey my name is kailey i am 13 years old and i am not sure what it is but my family and i have been noticing that my spine, neck, shoulders, and head violently or just barely noticeable shiver or twitch, my legs and arms have also randomly twitched. i also bite or scratch skin off of my legs arms and hands. and i have strange impulses to burn my arms on hot metal. i have been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, ptsd, depression, dissociation, and anxiety. i was wondering if you can tell me what you think about my situation

    • Try seeing a psychiatrist not because ur crazy but because this doctors specialize with kids with different disorders my kids see one and there doing great good luck

  20. Hello. For years now I’ve had a fine tremor in my hands, my father has very violent tremors they said he had Parkinson’s. I’m 17. Also when I place just my toes on the floor I start having severe tremors in my legs and hands. I also have facial tic when I get nervous, and I constantly pop my jaw. Also sometimes when I think things I say them without realizing, until afterwards. My brother has TS but it is not as severe as the stereotypical cases. I was thinking that I probably have it as well. But I wanted to know if this could have been caused by a blunt force injury to my lumbar spine.

  21. I have started these tics and I can’t stop. I am only eleven. They are so hard to control. I also have eye blinking.

    • Try seeing a psychiatrist not because ur crazy but because this doctors specialize with kids with different disorders my kids see one and there doing great good luck give it a try

  22. I don’t know if I have TS or not, I would really like it if some one helps me. Here are some repetitive habits that come and go.
    1. Finger cracking: I curl my pinkie finger up several times, creating a disturbing sound, until I realize that I’m doing it.
    2. Shaking leg: My left leg just starts shaking when more than three people are looking at me.
    3. Humming: I will start humming when either I’m studying, doing a test, completing school work, and when nobody I’m familiar with is around.
    4. Fingernail and skin biting: I’ve had this problem since I was 10. I bite my fingernails until I can’t anymore, then I start on the skin around my fingernail. I stop when it either hurts to much, or its bleeding.
    5. Uncontrollable anger: I get angry at the smallest of things (random noises, school work, can opener not working, etc) and I feel the strong urge to break or rip something.
    6. Lip biting: I usually bite my lips until they bleed, a few times I just kept going until my shirt was covered. (I’ve been to the nurse way too many times because of this)
    7. Whenever I hear or see the word tourette, I shiver heavily.

    • Olivia,
      We would suggest making an appointment with your family doctor to go over your symptoms. We are here if you need us. NJCTS, http://www.njcts.org, 908-575-7350.

    • Try seeing a psychiatrist not because ur crazy but because this doctors specialize with kids with different disorders my kids see one and there doing great give it a try good luck

    • I don’t think that is Tourettes. You usually realise that you’re doing something when you tic. Like of finger cracking was your ticket, you’d instantly realise you were doing it.
      1. Finger cracking is probably more of a habit than a tic.
      2. Your leg shaking could could be a tic, but it seems to be more of an issue with (social) anxiety than Tourettes. (Though, anxiety and Tourettes often go hand and hand with each other. You might be ticcing from your anxeity if you have Tourettes).
      3. Humming is most likely a tic. Not much to say about that one.
      4. Your finger and nail biting probably isn’t a tic. People bite their fingers all the time. Even to an extreme way like you do. I even bite my fingers like that. (I have OCD and can’t stop biting unless my fingernails or skin are straight and not bumpy and jagged). Tics are usually quick uncontrollable movements or sounds. Biting your nails and skin probably isn’t one of them.
      5. Uncontrollable anger probably isn’t a tic either. Tics aren’t emotional, they’re physical. Feeling the urge to rip or break something could be a sign of Tourettes, but because it is accompanied by anger, that makes me think there’s more of an anger issue kind of thing. I can’t say what specifically, but you should probably look more into that online or with a doctor. Or, you could always just be really stressed and frustrated. That could also be a cause. However, Tourettes never comes alone. So if you do have anxiety, ADHD, OCD, or some sort of emotional disorder (like getting mad all the time for example), then you’re also more likely to have Tourettes.
      6. Lip biting probably isn’t a tic. Like I’ve said before tics are uncontrollable and quick and you’d be able to notice them. Lip biting could be something like anxiety or a bad habbit. Something like that.
      7. Shivering when you hear Tourettes could be a tic. Hearing the word might be a trigger for one of your tics. I shiver whenever I hear certain words too. And I start ticcing if I hear, see, or think about certain things. Even seeing someone else tic makes me tic.

      You might have a few tics, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Tourettes. You could just have these tics on their own, or you could have another tic disorder. Tourettes needs to have both motor (arm, legs, eyes) and vocal (sounds made with your mouth) tics to be Tourettes (though both motor and vocal don’t have to be present at the same time).

      I would recommend you going to a doctor to ask about some of these. Some of these seem quite severe and symptoms of other serious things.

  23. I am not sure what it is but my body shakes uncontrollably, once a week. It just looks like I’m shivering but I can’t control it. I have no idea what it is. I know I’m not shivering because you can kinda control that and it’s happened in different places. I also have had it for as long as I can remember and I also have a lot of stress, I’m not sure if that has anything to do with it. If anyone could help me figure out what it is that would be a huge help!

  24. I don’t know if I have TS but sometimes I can feel myself start to boil over for no reason sometimes I’ll be petting my dog or cat and I’ll get a sudden burst of anger to the point where I could punch soneone. On top of that when I do get mad the only way for me to calm myself down is to hit a wall or something of that such not only that if I’m asleep or almost asleep if someone touches me I freaking out and almost hit them or scream at them then lay my head back down then I realize what I’ve done just the other day I was at school and a girl grabbed my side and I freaked out and cussed her out in the middle of class I don’t know if that is a sign but it seems like it plus when I was little I would always chew on my shirt or jacket but now I bit my nails to the point where they bleed sometimes with out realizing that im doing it not only that the slightest bit of pain will make me freak out. Just the other day I tripped and cut my hand open and I pinched a wall and throw a chair in a river not being able to stop myself im not sure what to do about it… Please comment back!

  25. Hey. I need help. I’m not sure but I think I have Tourette Syndrome. I’m constantly biting my nails and the skin around them, clearing my throat, swallowing for no reason, shaking my knee, and doing this weird eye trick where I kinda shake my eyes (involuntarily). I can control the eyes most of the time, but I’m a little nervous about everything else. Any tips?

    • Hi Jay. We would suggest seeing your family doctor and getting direction from him/her. If you need help with resources, you can give us a call at 908-575-7350.

    • U might wanna see a psychiatrist my son sees one and it has helped him alot he has adhd,tics,tourettes,mood disorder, there is medication and help as long as u get the rite doctor to help

    • Try seeing a psychiatrist not because ur crazy but because this doctors specialize with kids with different disorders my kids see one and there doing great give it a try good luck

    • Try seeing a psychiatrist not because ur crazy but because this doctors with kids with different disorders my kids see one and there doing great give it a try good luck

  26. My son is 14 and he makes these funny noises sniffs all time sometimes facial exspessions and now swearing under his breath. Doc sending to see a neurologist do you think this could be a tic

    • U might wanna try seen a psychiatrist my son sees one not because his crazy but they help kids with all different kinds of disorders o have two boys and my boys psychiatrist is the best has help me understand and has giving them the rite medication and they have a normal life

  27. Hi, I am wondering if anyone can give any advice or point me in a direction with further help.
    I have a 6 yr old son that has behavioural problems and separation anxiety we have currently been working with camhs for the past yr an a half, we r currently seeing a psychologist, psychotherapist every week and now talk of seeing a psychiatrist too, I have attended a parenting course and we have been referred to family support also which is due to start this week and I am currently battling with his school which has known about behavioural issues since he started there but still don’t feel we are getting anywhere.
    Only now just turning 6 have we started the process of whether he has a neurological problem, My sons behaviour is out of control and I fear for his safety as he is so impulsive, without detailing too much in case I don’t get a reply he has suddenly started having which I can only describe as ticks where he is sticking up his middle finger, swearing verbally, spitting and grinds his teeth, when I have spoke to my son about it he says he can’t help it, all he knows is that he gets a funny feeling in his body before he does this and he doesn’t always realise but it doesn’t make him feel any better it just builds up and he does it again he gets that frustrated over it he will hit himself in the face and head which starts off a meltdown, We together are trying to try out new strategies as to overcome this as this is taking a big knock on affect to our lives and I feel I need to find more support and strategies to be able to help my son.

    • You sound like you are doing a lot to help your son. Just be patient, listen to your gut and look into alternative therapies as well as keeping up with your doctor and specialists.

    • I meant to add, try looking for a good kinesiologist who specialises in NET.

    • Try seeing a psychiatrist not because ur son is crazy but this doctors work with kids with different disorders my kids see one and there doing great give it a try good luck

  28. hi,im a 15 year old girl and ive been having these occurances where i shudder, and i make i strange noise,or like i have these random moments when i just shout and i can kinda feel it when it rising.
    i dont know whats going on and i dont have tourettes. please someone help.

    • Honey, that DOES sound like tourettes. Have you been seen by a doc who specializes in tourettes? Keep in mind that other conditions tend to coexist with tourettes, like OCD. When one has a compulsion to act (or a tic that cannot be “controlled”), it’s like when others have an itch. We can TRY to ignore it, but unless we express the action, scratching, that itch is going to continue to “call” to us and bother us.
      You are not “abnormal.” We all have “stuff” to deal with. You deserve a thorough eval and answers, because they will then EMPOWER you to have a voice for yourself, to educate others and to live without unnecessary fear. I wish you the very best in seeking those answers.
      Peace! ~A mom of an 18 year old diagnosed with Tourettes, OCD, and ODD at age 8.

  29. Hi so im not sure if this is one but recently out of no where I will giggle at nothing but i can just feel it. Im fourteen and im not sure if it van start this late?

  30. My son is 9years old. Not sure if he has TS but a few weeks ago his eye started twitching/blinking and his head/neck jerks when this happens. I have made him an appointment to see a doctor but have not been yet….has anyone else experienced this?

  31. So I’ve been there 4 things a lot for a while, I’ve been
    •chewing on my mouth and peeling the skin of my hands and lips
    •taking in a big breath and then letting go
    •biting the side of my tongue
    •pushing\stretching the back of my gums and mouth
    •this weird blink were I try to blink really hard
    •and for some reason I’ll put my hand down my pants and just sit there
    So that’s what I do and if I if I stop trying to do these things it starts to irritate me. So can some one kinda tell me if I have a tic disorder or something

    • Yes, Olivia. Those are symptoms of Tourettes. Ask your parents to make an appointment with your family doctor, who can refer you to a doc who specializes in diagnosing tourettes. My daughter has it as well (and you share the same name.) The doc who diagnosed her,…also has tourettes (the sky is the limit; tourette syndrome will NOT keep you from a wonderful future.)

  32. After reading this, I realized that I’ve had tics since I was very young. I never realized that tics could be things such as chewing, blinking, or lip licking/biting. I’ve been doing these for as long as I can remember. Knowing this actually makes me feel better because, since my tics are very visible now, I can tell people I’ve always done them. They were just extremely hard to see.

  33. Hey I’m a 12 yr old female and I’ve been noticing mild things that could just be normal. So lately I’ve been chewing on the inside of my lip and chewing off the dry skin til it bleeds. I’ve been rolling my eyes randomly once every two days maybe? But today I was with my girlfriend and she said “I don’t know” to one of my questions and it really doesn’t annoy me, just aggravates me for 0.2 seconds. And I yelled, “FUCK!” in the middle of the hallway and lashes out my arms in a spasm way, then I ran off. I’m so confused because I didn’t even try to do it? It happened right away and it felt like a shiver going up your spine when your cold.

  34. My 5 year old son is having some issues with a possible tic, I am not exactly sure what is going on. It started about a year ago he would blink repeatedly. Then a few months later he would wrinkle his nose and squint. We found out he had to have glasses so we chalked it up to a vision problem. But since he has had his corrective lenses this hasn’t change, but gotten worse. He is now along with the facial movements, moving his shoulders and one arm. The movements are always the same. I notice it multiple times a day. His teacher has mentioned it being a tic. He has also had bouts of rage/anger that have come from nowhere. Can anyone tell me if this is a symptom of TS? I am making him a doctors appointment in the morning, but I am just trying to understand what the possibilities are.

  35. My son is about to turn 8 years old and has always had weird “ticks” since he was about 2 years old. At first it was rubbing his fingers together before he would turn the page in an book, or pick up a toothbrush, or hold a fork. Then it changed to twitching his arms, to blinking his eyes, to making a circle with his fingers to look through, to pulling on his lip, and now smelling his fingers. These “ticks” usually last 6 to 8 months before he moves to a new one. He usually does them a minimum of 10 to 15 times a day – sometimes more than 25 times. He is very social and loves to play sports. His ticks seem to escalate when extremely active. For example, right now he is playing football which is one night a week practice and one day a game. During baseball season he would have practice 4 nights and 2 nights games and that is when we saw his ticks happen more often. He is extremely bright (advanced academically), can’t sit still unless he has a screen in front of him, and very absent minded. Do you think he could possibly have tourettes? I have never noticed a vocal tick before?

    • Take ur son to see a psychiatrist not because ur son is crazy but this doctors work with kids with different disorders regular doctor can help but are not specialize in those areas my kids see one and there doing great good luck

  36. Hi!

    I’m a teenage girl with no professional diagnosis for anything other than prescription glasses (although I believe I might have G.A.D and possibly slight depression), but recently I’ve started noticing that I make weird movements that I can’t help, and some compulsive-type things.

    I pick my lips *a lot*, and nine-times-out-of-ten cause them to bleed (I pick them increasingly often if I’m stressed or upset, also), and make this type of throat-clearing noise, which if I don’t do makes me feel like I have something in my throat, although it sounds more like gargling without water.

    My legs and fingers also twitch sometimes, although they aren’t major, and I don’t appear to have any facial tics that I’ve noticed. I feel like I’m being a pest and overreacting, so I’m sorry if there’s something I’m missing that’s painfully obvious.

    • Hi Endre! Do not worry about over reacting. If something is worrying you, talk to someone about it. Give NJCTS a call at 908-575-7350 to get a recommended doctor in your area.

  37. Hey, so I was kind of just wondering. I have been noticing I have quite a few tics. I twitch, chew my nails and I don’t know all the time that I am doing it, my eyes twitch, I bite my lip, I do mumble, hum, and I have noticed recently that I sometimes will say totally random words uncontrollably. My mother is accusing me of faking it as a joke, and I know I am not. I don’t shout it, but I just say a word, I can’t stop it from coming out. I said terracotta the other day when she and I were taking a walk and talking. I kind of just am confused. If anyone has any idea on what the problem is, I would love to hear your opinions. Also, how do you get diagnosed for tourettes?

  38. My 5 year old son has been having some concerning behavior and complaints, and I am starting to suspect TS. He does grimace, and he will make noises like growling in a way that disrupts class. He does blink in a strange way sometimes too. He has recently started to tell me he “feels weird” or he feels confused, and that he feels like there are too many memories in his head. On several occasions he has said he just doesn’t feel right. He has refused to participate in certain activities also with no explanation, and will just sit there and not engage. Obviously I want to help him, but I don’t want to put any ideas in a doctors head about what might be going on… the power of suggestion. Do these sound like things you felt?

    • It’s great that he’s able to convey to you how he feels. I would first start a discussion with your primary. In order for it to be diagnosed as tourette’s it needs to be present for a year. With ts, often comes other conditions . To me, it sounds like he could be describing anxiety. When my daughter becomes overwhelmed and anxious, she”ll flat out refuse to participate in activities.

    • Grimancing blimking and vocal noises is tics. Tourettes is also usually accompanied by Anxiety…. ocd…. Adhd…. aspergers… I know very well I have 2 boys one with Tourettes Anxiety Aspergers…. The other just Tourettes.

    • See a psychiatrist not because ur son is crazy but this doctors specialize with kids with different disorders my kids see on and there doing great give it a try good luck

  39. Hi I’m only 13 but I have some questions. Ever since I was like 7 I would do this weird thing where I would like rock back and forth against a wall and I don’t do that as much anymore but I rock on my one foot while standing. I also bite my lip a lot for no reason and I have this weird thing where my left shoulder jerks or rolls back like I’m stretching unexpectedly. My neck also jerks some times. I just don’t know what it is and when I heard about this I was worried that I might have Tourette’s. Should I be concerned?

    • Hi Emily! What you’re describing may be tics or maybe not, only a doctor can make a Tourette diagnosis. Give NJCTS a call at 908-575-7350 to get a recommended doctor in your area.

    • U can try seeing a psychiatrist my kids see on and there doing great,this doctors specialize with kids with different kinds of disorders good luck give it a try

  40. So our daughter is 7 and we’ve had done big changes over last 18 months in her life with 2 new siblings and moving into different home. She’s always appeared to struggle with paying attention and focusing-very easily distracted and highly sensitive with everything-feels things so extreme. Over last 6 months I’ve noticed very strange repetitive movements a hop on one leg, neck jerk, eye roll to upper right and sometimes overly smule liked forced. The newest one is she will twirl or spin. Is it normal for their to be so many? Is dte just a kid starved for attention or does stress exacerbate symptoms of TS?

    • Stress can absolutely exacerbate tics but only a doctor can make a TS diagnosis. Give NJCTS a call at 908-575-7350 to get a recommended doctor in your area.

    • Hi Jessica,
      How is your daughter? My daughter seems to have similar tics for quite a while now? Wondering if you did anything about them?
      Thx

  41. My younger sister has developed a tic in her face, should I be concerned? She twitches her mouth and her eyes get wide and then she mellows out. But it’s not that noticeable. My family have been concerned about it for a few days. We would like to know if it’s serious and we should take her to the doctor?

    • It’s hard to say for sure but I understand your family’s concern. Give our office a call at 908-575-7350 so we can help you with some next steps.

  42. My mother always tells me that my tics are just nervous tics from my anxiety and never bothers to take me to the doctor about it, since I had a CAT scan a few years ago and they found nothing. I know that in order to have Tourett’s you have to have at least two motor tics and one vocal tic. I have at least four motor tics and one, if not two, vocal tics. Is there a way to determine whether or not I have nervous tics or Tourett’s?

    • You need one vocal and one motor tic to be present for at least a year in order for it to be diagnosed as tourette’s. A neurologist could help with diagnosis.

  43. I don’t know if this IS TS or something else entirely, but there are times when I feel like this weird shiver-like? feeling and a strong head twitch, my hands/fingers twitch fairly often, and my legs spasm a bit as well, shrug thing in one shoulder. There’s also this really strange noise that I’ve made a few times every day for the past 2-3 years, if I try to suppress it it becomes painful and it feels like my throat is closing up. I get asked constantly if I’m okay, or if I have to go to the hospital.

    I was watching some tourettes documentaries today and I suddenly had a fear that it might be what’s wrong with me.
    There’s not really one thing that happens constantly throughout the day, but it’s usually a mixture of several different things. Some answers to this would be greatly appreciated! I’ve been wondering about it for a long time.

  44. Reading this helped me to believe that my 9 year old son has TS and or TS+. He has a bad raw rash around his top and bottom lip. He constantly, every 5 seconds licks, bites, and opens his mouth wide like he is stretching it or trying to pop his hears. He can’t control it, and half the time doesn’t know he is doing it. It breaks my heart to watch him go through this, because everything burns his lips and it looks so horrible like he has clown make-up around his mouth. Is this so serious he needs a doctor asap!? Or is there a medicine that can help with TS and or TS+over the counter or prescribed by a specialist?

    • i think that you should seek treatment for the rash (if you haven’t already) and then decide if he has it. commonly in children, when they have chapped lips or bumps in there mouths, they try to relive the itch or burn by licking the area, widening your mouth also temporarily helps the pain. my brother has chapped lips quite frequently, and does the same thing, although, he isnt a very good example, he also has tourette! hopefully this helped! <3

      • Your absolutely right! My son Eugene also had rashes when he was younger, about 8 years old, we also found out he only had rashes. We found out it was actually impetigo. It scared the living hell out of me when I first saw it. We made the same mistake of seeing a specialist, but later found out what it actually was. I would advise you to see a doctor to get some medication.

      • i agree, my son was recently diagnosed with impetigo, im almost certian that is what your son has, The main symptom is red sores that form around the nose and mouth!

    • Yes my son has TS and does the exact thing urgggg I use Releev at Walmart 2 days it works magic. I put it on the rash surrounding his lips which looks terrible and it is an antifungal.

  45. I don’t know how old this blog is but, I was on YouTube watching random stuff and then a thing on Tourette Syndrome came up. I was fascinated and I clicked on the video. After I watched the video my head started twitching and I kept opening my mouth and this carried on for about an hour. I knew I was doing the stuff but I had to do it and I was like “what on earth is happening?”. Now everytime I watch a video of someone having tics, I like have a head twitch for an hour but I don’t have Tourette’s. Do you have any clue what it is?

    • Probably the mirror neurons. I read in Psychology that there are neurons in the brain that help us think and act like the people we watch.

    • Tourettes Syndrome is transferable. If you are watching videos of it you need to take breaks in between or during the videos.

    • I was so happy to come across your post because the exact same thing happens to me. I was watching someone tic on YouTube and I started to tic, get a stinking headache and my vision was badly affected. I don’t have and never have had Tourettes. I do have brain damage after a haemorrhage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *