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It's What Makes Me Tic

Tourette Awareness Month was created by Tourettes Action UK to raise awareness of and destigmatise Tourette Syndrome. The aim is to show what living with Tourette Syndrome is like and dispel some of the myths and misconceptions around the condition whilst helping the public understand what it is and what it isn’t. Tourette Awareness Month runs from 15th May to 15th June each year and during this period activities are put together by health organisations to raise this awareness.

Tourette syndrome is a common neurological disorder that is characterised by sudden, involuntary movements and at least one vocal sound, which are called tics. Tics occur involuntarily and whilst people can stop themselves from doing a certain tic for a while, it is quite difficult and cannot be sustained. It is usually hereditary, which could either begin in an individual’s childhood or adolescence, but the tics and other symptoms usually improve after several years and sometimes go away completely. There's no cure for Tourette's syndrome, but treatment can help manage symptoms.

People with Tourette's syndrome have a combination of physical and vocal tics:

Examples of physical tics include:

  • Blinking

  • Eye rolling

  • Grimacing

  • shoulder shrugging

  • Jerking of the head or limbs

  • Jumping

  • Twirling

  • Touching objects and other people

Examples of vocal tics include:

  • Grunting

  • Throat clearing

  • Whistling

  • Coughing

  • Tongue clicking

  • Animal sounds

  • Saying random words and phrases

  • Repeating a sound, word or phrase

  • Swearing

If your child starts having tics you should contact your GP, however many children have tics for several months before growing out of them, so a tic does not necessarily mean your child has Tourette's syndrome

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