What are Tic disorders?

Tourette syndrome and tic disorders are neurobehavioral disorders affecting 1-3% of children and adolescents. Tics are sudden, rapid, recurring, and non-rhythmic motor movements or vocalizations that are considered simple or complex. Tics are common in childhood, though short-term in most cases. Tic disorders frequently co-occur with psychiatric disorders (e.g. ADHD, OCD), which are often associated with significant psychosocial impairment.


Tourette’s Syndrome and other Tic Disorders are characterized by repetitive, involuntary muscle movements (motor tics) and/or vocalizations (vocal tics). Common tics include eyeblinking, grimacing, shoulder shrugs, throat clearing, sniffing, and grunting. Chronic tic disorders can potentially have a significant negative impact on family relationships and functioning.

Treatment for Tics

Habit Reversal Training (HRT) and certain types of medication have been shown to be helpful in the treatment of TS and other tic disorders. HRT involves teaching youngsters to increase tic awareness and systematically engage in a new and opposite muscle behavior whenever they feel the urge to tic. Since tics often worsen in stressful situations, relaxation training and other stress management techniques are used to also better manage tics.

Learn more

Please see the Resources page for recommended reading and informative links.

Our Research on Tics

To participate in our research to help us learn more about this disorder and how best to treat it, please fill out our intake form or contact us at (443)287-7157.


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