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Tic Disorders and Twitches

Has Your Child Ever Had Uncontrollable Facial Movements or Vocal Outbursts?

If the answer is YES they may have a common TIC DISORDER.Tic disorders and twitches

Parents who watch and hear their children repeat movements or vocalize noises worry something must be terribly wrong. In most cases the opposite is true! Tics are involuntary, cannot be controlled and are often a source of social embarrassment for both parent and child.

They present as involuntary:

  • blinking
  • twitches
  • movements
  • humming
  • shoulder shrugging
  • throat clearing
  • or a combination of all at various times

They often appear when a person is under high stress situations such as school pressures, family emergencies, peer pressures and even normal everyday stress associated with a growing body and mind. They are seen most often in boys. In severe cases genetics plays a role such as in Tourette’s syndrome. Tics may be simple or complex. A simple tic may be something like eye blinking, a grunt, muscle twitches, facial grimacing, or nasal flaring. These are purposeless movements. A complex tic consists of throwing, scratching or chewing. These are muscle movements with a purpose. A vocal complex tic produces a word not just a sound.

Tics fall into different categories such as:

  • Chronic Vocal or Motor Tic Disorder: Motor and vocal tic involvement that appear many times a day for a period of at least a year.
  • Provisional Tic Disorder: Tics of either vocal or motor in nature that lasts for less than a year and is eliminated when a stressful situation resolves.
  • Tourette’s Disorder: The presence of tics for at least a year, which are both vocal and motor in nature. They must be frequent and never stopping for a period of longer than 2 months. It is also usually associated with ADHD and obsessive-compulsive difficulties or certain diseases such as Huntington Disease or post viral encephalitis.

Tic and Twitching Disorder Treatment:

The first line of defense should be wait and watch. Most tic disorders are over as the individual matures.  It tends to resolve gradually even if medication is used to treat. Talk to your doctor, keep a log of your child’s tics from month to month, and most importantly try to ignore it. The more attention it is given the worse it can be! 

Talk to your doctor and have him/her evaluate the child before any further action is taken. 
 

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