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Your input into the Tic Parade will provide valuable insights for parents of children with Tourette, adults with Tourette in addition to health professionals treating persons with Tourette.

The Tic Parade is a library or encyclopedia of Tourette tics in which each tic is described by the person who experiences or observes that tic.

Some tics are preceded by an urge or sensation in the affected muscle group, commonly called a premonitory urge. Some with TS will describe a need to complete a tic in a certain way or a certain number of times in order to relieve the urge or decrease the sensation.

By providing insights into what is observed as well as what is experienced might help the person with the disorder as well as those living with the person cope and know how to deal with their tics.

When posting the description of the tic you wish to discuss, go to the appropriate Forum section Head and Neck, Torso, Limbs or Vocal and title your message with one or two words that describe the tic.

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  • Barking
  • Finger Flicking
  • Head Twisting
  • Shoulder Rolling
  • Choking Sounds
  • Abdomen Twitch

When discussing coprolalia, please use common sense in describing the nature of the words or terms being used. Although some latitude will be allowed in the use of the actual word or term, any exaggerated or flagrant use of profanity on the Forum will not be tolerated and postings will be removed.

Coprolalia - Involuntary utterances of obscene or inappropriate statements or words

See also Overview of Tourette Tics
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a complex tic?

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  • a complex tic?

    My son has started this new habit which I thought looked like a compulsion (he has OCD) but he says is a tic. He'll be sitting on a chair, then he jumps off and smells his chair , with his head on the chair and his knees on the floor. Then he'll jump back on the chair. I do hope this is something he'll be able to suppress once school starts! Jacob seems to have lots of tics that are hard to distinguish from compulsions. Anyone with a similar experience?

  • #2
    Re: a complex tic?

    It can be really hard to figure out whether something is a complex tic or a compulsion. My son hits the walls as he walks through the house -- we always called it a tic, but his doctor refers to it as a compulsion.

    After spending some time trying to sort out the difference, I finally decided that it didn't matter which it was -- it is part of his neurology and is not something he is doing on purpose. It probably only helps to differentiate between a tic and a compulsion if you are trying to treat the specific symptom -- otherwise, you can drive yourself crazy trying to figure out which is what.
    Forum Moderator


    • #3
      Re: a complex tic?

      I agree with Cathy. I never know for sure whether many of the things my son does are tics or compulsions. He knows and that's all that matters I guess for when he/we are discussing treatment with his doctor.

      The bottom line is he does a whole host of things that are "out of his control" and although we help him to stop the things that need to be stopped or modified we never punish or ridicule him for either.


      • #4
        Re: a complex tic?

        Thanks for the responses. I have the impression (from our psychologist) that compulsions can be treated with CBT but it is best to just ignore tics. I will ask him what he thinks, but we haven't been for a while because of summer and all. Brings to mind that article that someone (Steve?) recently posted about the boy who was treated for TS with ERT ( or CBT?). Maybe we will see some changes down the road here as well about whether to "ignore" or treat a "tic".


        • #5
          Re: a complex tic?

          Yes my son's doctors also agree that compulsions can be treated with CBT. In order for ERP (Exposure & Response Prevention) to work the individual must want it to work.

          My son is now 13 and still is not ready. He does not see his OCD as a problem. Untill he does the therapy will not work. For now we have been told to ignore compulsions. We are not to help him with his compulsions nor are we to consequence him for them.


          • #6
            Re: a complex tic?

            That's interesting. Jacob doesn't see his T.S. as a problem but his OCD makes his life miserable so we have had some success with ERP. It really does require that the child be "on board" as it sure is not easy. I'm glad that your son doesn't see the OCD as a problem - I guess it also depends what they obsess about. Jacob obsesses that he has done something wrong, like being rude or hurting someone's feelings or even having a bad thought; then, he has to repeatedly confess to me (his priest - ha ha!). So, it makes him feel bad about himself. It is lots better since the therapy though.


            • #7
              Re: a complex tic?

              It's true. If you're going to treat these things you first need to feel it's a problem, and then decide that it's enough of a problem that it's worth the effort of fixing. That goes for anyone at any age.

              Otherwise you won't take the treatment seriously, you'll skip or forget meds, and you won't retain anything a therapist tells you. Overcoming these things is a long and challenging process. Step one is asking yourself if you feel it's worth it. The answer doesn't have to be "yes".


              • #8
                Re: a complex tic?

                hmmm sniffing as chair that would be a problem in school maybe if you can find something to distract him from his tics/compulsions maybe sucking on a mint or music I dunno if he is even allowed that stuff at his school. I used to have a compulsion where I used to have to lick things at one point it was so bad that it was people more or less family or people I felt close to and it bugged me so much when I did it. because I knew it was gross eventually it died down now it is about minimal so time may help make it go away I don't really know what else to say. if his OCD is bad and he is worried about hurting people then you could try this technique a psychologist told me you image that there is a tape player on your leg and you eject the bad tape and repeat that until it is not there and I mean physically pretend you are ejecting a tape and then once you have the bad thoughts out make a putting in a tape motion and imagine you putting in a good tape. Another technique I learned is to imaging paradise lol like pretend you are leaving this planet for planet paradise