Tics & Tourettes

What are tics?

Tics are repetitive involuntary movements or sounds like twitches, grunts, or coughs. They are quite common in early childhood around primary school age and usually improve over time. Occasionally they first appear in older children or adults.

Although they are not harmful, they can be a nuisance, embarrassing or get in the way of doing things. Tics may not require any treatment at all. They are often made worse by stress and anxiety.

Tics and what to do about them
What are functional tics?  Read about different types of tics and the increase in functional tics  (Great Ormond Street Hospital)
I’ve heard of CBIT – what is it?  Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention Therapy is showing a lot of promise in the treatment of tics and Tourettes, but isn’t always available on the NHS. You can find lots of YouTube videos explaining how it works

What is Tourette Syndrome (TS)?

Is a neurological condition which is inherited i.e.runs in families, and is more common in boys. Key features of TS include tics which have been going on for over a year. Young people with TS may also experience other conditions too, such as ADHDAnxiety and OCD. Click on the individual words for more links on any specific problems. Tics are often made worse by worry and stress but can come and go. Sometimes one tic will go, only to be replaced by another. See the links above for information on CBIT (Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention Therapy)

Tourette’s syndrome and ADHD
Tourette’s syndrome and OCD


Tics and twitches – I can’t stop it! This article from an Australian website is a good summary of what tics and twitches are, and some techniques that can help- written by an experienced therapist.

Tourettes Action UK This website has a wealth of useful information for parents, teachers and young people: symptoms, causes and diagnosis of TS, managing TS, information about support in school, the latest research, and a large resource library. 

Tourette Syndrome Information Pack from Great Ormond Street



Tic-toc-tic challenge A video made by Brandon who has TS,  using physical challenges to try to explain how much effort it takes to suppress tics.