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Can TS Hit at Puberty?

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  • Can TS Hit at Puberty?

    It's been a very long time since I've posted in here. My TS son is now 14 and doing very well!

    I have a question about my other son however. He's 12 1/2. In grade 7. He has never exhibited any tics that we've ever noticed (and with another TS kid, we were looking!!) until recently. He was telling me that he keeps having to do things with his hands and he simply can't not do it (it was a weird movement I can't even describe). He said it's annoying but he has to do it over and over. He's also started making a duck sound. I thought he was just making the sound for fun (we have a 7 month old baby he likes I entertain) but he's told he can't stop doing it and a few times has made the sound in class at school without even realizing it until his teacher told him to stop. He also said he sits and feels like he's uncomfortable and he knows he's not actually uncomfortable but he has to get up and wiggle and then sit back down. These are all very similar to tics my older son has had in the past.

    As this is all new, I don't know if it'll be a short lived thing or longer lasting, but I'm wondering if it's possible for a child to start tic-ing at puberty when there has been no history of it in his younger years? My other son was a textbook case of TS as far as age of first tics (6 years old) go and types of tics (blinking, throat clearing as early tics). This isn't like that. My son was kind of laughing about it but it's got me wondering.
    Last edited by TaraF; October 10, 2016, 04:08 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Can TS Hit at Puberty?

    According to our Tourette Canada website:

    What is the Diagnostic Criteria for Tourette Syndrome (TS)?
    In order to be diagnosed with TS, a person must meet a set of conditions or diagnostic criteria. These criteria, found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) are:
    • At least two motor tics and at least one vocal tic (not necessarily at the same time);
    • Tics persist for more than a year (tics can wax and wane during this period);
    • Tics begin before age 18; and
    • Tics are not caused by a substance or other condition (e.g., Huntington Disease, infection, head injury).
    You may also be interested in the following CDC article: Prevalence of Diagnosed Tourette Syndrome in Persons Aged 6--17 Years --- United States, 2007

    The Tourette Association of America (TAA) website:

    Key Facts about Tourette Syndrome
    Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that becomes evident in early childhood or adolescence. It is part of the spectrum of Tic Disorders and is characterized by motor and vocal tics.
    • Tourette Syndrome and other Tic Disorders are not rare. The current estimates are that 1 out of every 160 children between the ages of 5-17 in the United States has TS and that 1 out of every 100 children has TS or another Tic Disorder.
    • Some Tic Disorders may be transient, while others will persist into adolescence and adulthood.
    • It is common for people with Tourette Syndrome to be affected by another co-occurring condition.
    • Some co-occurring conditions are Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
    • There is no cure for Tourette Syndrome, but thanks to years of dedicated research, there are various treatment options.
    Considering your family's history, it would be advisable to have your son assessed by a TS specialist, considering your son's genetic predisposition and his later than the more frequently observed onset of possible symptoms (six to nine).
    TouretteLinks Forum


    • #3
      Re: Can TS Hit at Puberty?

      Never anything wrong with getting a professional opinion. As is often the case, Steve offers sage advice. I think it important to remember that not all symptoms appear at once or "on time" so to speak. Quick example, perhaps not relevant, although my motor tics came early, 7ish, my verbal did not appear in full and discernible force until I was in my early twenties.

      And don't be a stranger in here TaraF, your voice is important for us all and glad to here your 14 year old is doing well! Cheers!