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Tics

 

A Tic is an involuntary, purposeless, sudden or rapid, repetitive, non-rhythmic, spontaneous movement or sound.

 

Tics usually occur repeatedly at irregular intervals.

 

Examples of tics:

 

            Rapid Eye Blinking – A person with a rapid eye blinking tic will blink their eyes more often than normal.  Parents of a child with a rapid eye blinking tic will notice this happening as part of their normal observations of the child.  They will observe that the number of eye blinks per minute is greater than they would think would be normal.

 

            Unnecessary Throat Clearing – A person with this tic will appear to make throat clearing sounds more often than would be considered necessary.

 

There are 4 categories of tics:

 

Simple Motor Tics:  sudden meaningless movement of an individual muscle group.

 

Examples:

    Eye blinking

    Facial grimacing

    Nose twitching

    Lip pouting

    Shoulder shrugging

    Arm jerking

    Head jerking

    Abdominal tensing

    Kicking

    Finger movements

    Jaw snapping

    Teeth clicking

    Frowning

    Knuckle cracking

    Tensing parts of the body

    Rapid jerking of any part of the body

 

Simple Vocal (or Phonic) Tics:  linguistically meaningless sounds or noises.

 

Examples:

    Throat clearing

    Coughing

    Spitting

    Screeching

    Barking

    Grunting

    Gurgling

    Whistling

    Hissing

    Sucking sounds

    Syllable sounds such as “uh, uh,” “eee,” and “bu”

 

Complex Motor Tics:  a group of movements using more than one muscle group which may appear purposeful.

 

Examples:

    Hopping

    Touching objects (or others or self)

    Throwing

    Gyrating

    Bending

    Dystonic postures

    Biting the mouth, lip or arm

    Head banging

    Writhing movements

    Rolling eyes upward or side to side

    Making funny facial expressions

    Kissing

    Pinching

    Tearing paper or books

    Copropraxia

    Echopraxia

 

Complex Vocal Tics:  repetitive, nonsensical or out of context utterances of words, phrases or statements.

 

Examples:

    Uttering phrases such as “Oh boy,” “Shut up,” “You know,” “You’re fat,” “All right,” “What’s that” etc

    Complex respiratory (breathing) patterns

    Speech atypicalities such as speaking in unusual rhythms, tones, accents, loudness, rapidity

    Stuttering

    Coprolalia

    Palilalia

    Echolalia

 

Other examples of tics can be found in the tic list.

 

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