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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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  • 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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Not sure how to describe this tic

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  • Not sure how to describe this tic

    My son is 9 and has something new - he said he's not sure it's a tic because it doesn't 'feel' like his others but he has to do it which leads me to believe it is a tic. Not sure if my explanation will make sense but I'll try my best.
    He will be talking and come to a word and he says he 'can't get it out' - he has to almost stutter the first syllable and then he says the word gets caught in his throat and he can't get the word out. Eventually he does and continues speaking until he hits another word that he 'can't get out'. He says the same thing happens when he's reading. He will come to a word - he knows what the word says but he says he can't read it in his head - he has to say it out loud, does the same stutter, the word gets 'stuck' in his throat, then finally he can get it out, and continues reading.
    He's getting very frustrated with this and it's hard to listen to - he is really distressed by it - and having a conversation with him has become very difficult because of it It's so hard to see him so frustrated just by talking

  • #2
    Originally posted by TaraF View Post
    My son is 9 and has something new - he said he's not sure it's a tic because it doesn't 'feel' like his others but he has to do it which leads me to believe it is a tic. Not sure if my explanation will make sense but I'll try my best.
    He will be talking and come to a word and he says he 'can't get it out' - he has to almost stutter the first syllable and then he says the word gets caught in his throat and he can't get the word out. Eventually he does and continues speaking until he hits another word that he 'can't get out'. He says the same thing happens when he's reading. He will come to a word - he knows what the word says but he says he can't read it in his head - he has to say it out loud, does the same stutter, the word gets 'stuck' in his throat, then finally he can get it out, and continues reading.
    He's getting very frustrated with this and it's hard to listen to - he is really distressed by it - and having a conversation with him has become very difficult because of it It's so hard to see him so frustrated just by talking
    I would say this is a tic. I'm in my 40's and have experienced this most of my life. It is exhausting, frustrating, and was humiliating as a child. Continue to support your son and provide a calming environment whenever possible when he's experiencing this. Taking a breath and removing myself from chaos and overstimulation usually helps.

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    • #3
      Re: not sure how to describe this tic

      Hi TaraF,

      The situation you describe could be tic. The blockage or hesitation your son is experiencing when trying to speak may be an involuntary vocalization associate with TS. If it is, please know that it is not a language disorder and can't be treated with speech or language therapy.

      It must be very frustrating for your son especially if it is affecting not only his speech but also his reading. I wonder if you've been able to keep a list of the words that he gets "stuck" on, to see if there is a pattern? Or maybe there is a pattern in the environment in which this happens? By finding the trigger, you might find a way to reduce your son's frustration.

      Tina
      Tina, Forum Moderator, TSFC Staff Liaison

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      • #4
        Re: not sure how to describe this tic

        He is actually in speech therapy right now (not for this) and I've been finding that it gets worse when he is concentrating hard, like during his speech sessions - he is working on the 'r' sound in speech therapy and after years of therapy it is finally coming out. While he can now say the 'r' words with no problem, speaking in sentences, he is getting 'caught' on non 'r' words. It's also more frequent when he is excited - like when he is trying to retell a funny story, something that happened at school, a joke, etc. When we're just talking normally it's not much of an issue, but when he's excited to say what he is going to say, that is when it gets bad.
        Not sure about reading though as he says it is not the same words each time... He reads a lot and it was just the other day he mentioned the same thing happening when he reads...

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        • #5
          Re: Not sure how to describe this tic

          Hi TaraF,

          If he is responding to speech therapy for the symptom, it may not be a tic.
          What does his speech therapist think? If it isn't a tic, it may be a mild LD (learning disability).
          Again, I'm not a doctor, and this would be something to bring up with your family doctor next time.

          Your son's school may also be able to help you explore this, especially if it is causing him "distress."
          Tina, Forum Moderator, TSFC Staff Liaison

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          • #6
            Re: Not sure how to describe this tic

            He is not responding to the symptom with speech therapy - he is just in speech therapy for something else. The tic seems to be worse during speech therapy when he is concentrating hard on the words he says (just like it is worse when he is excited to tell us a story - when he is trying hard to say something, that's when he can't, if that makes sense?)
            Unfortunately I don't think bringing this up with my family doc will be useful - she doesn't have any knowledge of TS (and still calls tics 'attention seeking behaviour'). I'll have to call the neuropsychiatrist he sees and see if we can get in sooner than September...
            Last edited by TaraF; January 23, 2012, 04:38 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Not sure how to describe this tic

              Hi TaraF,
              You need to ask your family doctor for a referral to a Tourette specialist for your son.
              Give us a call at the National Office and we can give you some names.
              Specialists often have waiting lists of up to a year, but you should get on the lists now,
              and follow-up to see if they have any cancellations.

              Tina
              GTA local: 905-673-2255
              Toll-free: 1800-361-3120
              Tina, Forum Moderator, TSFC Staff Liaison

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              • #8
                Re: Not sure how to describe this tic

                Hi again,

                TaraF, I've just read this in another posting of yours on the Forum:
                Me... I don't know if this is a tic but it's something I've done for as long as I can remember and used to get teased (friendly ribbing ;)) in highschool about it. I hear a word or see a word and I have to either "type" it or "write" it. I sit and "type" the word over and over in the air until another word makes me stop and start a new word... Other times I have to write on my leg (or the nearest leg - it drives my husband nuts - he thinks I'm being nice, rubbing his leg, and he looks down and sees I'm actually 'writing' a word!). Now that I think about it, if I see the word, I have to "write" it on my leg over and over, and if I hear it, then I have to type it. I wonder if there is a word to describe that lol
                It sounds like you and your son have very similar symptoms. Your symptom sounds like it is a compulsion and could be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - OCD.

                This is off the TSFC web-site:

                Compulsive behaviours
                • Repetitive, often ritualistic actions in which the person feels that something must be done over and over, often in a very specific manner. Examples include touching an object with one hand after touching it with the other hand to "even things up", or repeatedly checking to see that the flame on the stove is turned off. Children sometimes beg their parents to repeat a sentence many times until it "sounds right".

                I'm wondering if your son's behaviour is not a stutter or a tic, but rather a compulsion that he hasn't maybe figured out how to make "sound right" yet.

                Again, I'm not a doctor, but I would suggest you share this "tic" with your son, talk about it, and compare how you both feel when words get "stuck". If you let him know how you are compelled to do "write" on your leg, it might take some of the pressure off of him when words get "stuck." Together, you might also be able to find a way for him to release these "stuck" words in the same way you do when you write them on your leg. Just a suggestion, let me know if it helps.
                Tina, Forum Moderator, TSFC Staff Liaison

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                • #9
                  Re: Not sure how to describe this tic

                  I do have OCD and wondered if it was that - but my writing thing is weird - I don't even think about it - sometimes I don't know I'm doing it until someone points it out. There are other things I do for other reasons but this one is weird and I just do it when I see a word/hear a word - no specific word, just sometimes I see/hear a word and I start doing it - I don't 'get' anything out of it, ya know?

                  I don't know if it matters whether it's a compulsion or tic for me or him but I always wonder - it's all frustrating LOL

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                  • #10
                    Re: Not sure how to describe this tic

                    Hi TaraF,

                    I'm going to take you back to your first post:
                    He's getting very frustrated with this and it's hard to listen to - he is really distressed by it - and having a conversation with him has become very difficult because of it It's so hard to see him so frustrated just by talking
                    Often the frurstation and distress children with TS+ experience is based, in part, in thinking they're the only one dealing with the symptom. Openly talking about your OCD without forcing him into a discussion about his, might open the door for a discussion. Maybe there are some strategies you can share with him - things you tried when you were a kid, and other things that you have developed as an adult.

                    When you do get him a specialist for his condition, mention this discussion we're having. If these tics are OCD instead of TS, the treatment might be different as well.
                    Tina, Forum Moderator, TSFC Staff Liaison

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