My Child has Tics—What do I do?
Minor tic episodes are a fairly common in young children occurring in about 25% of children at some point in early childhood. When this happens, it is called a transient tic disorder. Tics are usually fairly mild, such as eyeblinking, mouth movements and/or short sounds (squeaks, grunts, puffs of air, etc.). See List of Tics for other common tics. If you are a parent who is concerned about seeing tics in your child, you may consider consulting with your pediatrician. If tics are relatively mild, and have been present for less than a year, a knowledgeable pediatrician is likely to advise you to wait and see what happens because there is a good chance the tics will go away and that no further related difficulties will manifest. If tics are more numerous, complex, or have persisted for over a year, you may consider consulting with a neurologist, who can determine if a diagnosis of Tourette syndrome (TS) is appropriate. Neurologists are well suited to make this diagnosis because they are trained to recognize tics and to rule out other possible explanations for movements and sounds. If a diagnosis of TS is given, a parent can expect that tics will be present, at least some of the time for the remainder of childhood, adolescence, and possibly into adulthood (see What to Expect From Tics Over Time).