Tourette's in Children


The most common age for diagnosis is 7 years of age.

We know how worrying it can be to observe symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome in your child or loved one – you may feel anxious as to what the future will hold for them.

The good news is that for many children the symptoms do lessen as they grow older and that much can be done to improve things.

We have a team of expert clinicians who can assess and treat Tourette’s.


What is Tourette’s syndrome?

Tourette’s is an inherited, neurological condition characterised by tics and uncontrollable, involuntary sounds and movements. It is also known as Multiple Tic Disorder.


What is a tic?

A tic is an involuntary sound or movement.

    • Sound and phonic tics include throat clearing, yelping, coughing and sniffing
    • Motor tics, such as jerking, flapping, jumping, hitting or biting oneself.


Can tics be controlled?

The simple answer is no. Whilst they can be held for a few moments, a bit like you can stop yourself from blinking, the more you stop yourself, the greater the urge.


There are three types of Tourette’s:

        • Pure Tourette’s Syndrome – movement and vocal tics only
        • Full blown Tourette’s Syndrome – movement and sound tics as well as ‘Echophenomena’ (repeating others or one’s own sounds and movements, ‘Copropraxia / Coprolalia’ (obscene and unacceptable movements, gestures, and language. Only 10% of people with Tourette’s suffer with the well-publicised ‘swearing’ tic called Coprolalia)
        • Tourette’s Syndrome plus – OCD, ADHD, sleep problems, depression, anxiety as well as the symptoms of full-blown TS


The six impacts of Tourette’s:

        • Physical impact – damage to joints and muscles and self –injury caused by hitting oneself
        • Educational impact – it is very difficult for children to concentrate in class
        • Economic impact – Tourette’s can be a barrier to employment
        • Social impact – bullying, ridicule and social exclusion can be experienced by those with Tourette’s
        • Emotional impacts – low self-esteem and confidence, depression, anxiety, and stress
        • Family life – living with someone with Tourette’s can be terribly frustrating and worrying. This can cause a lot of tension at home.

We know how difficult and upsetting it can be to have someone in the family who has Tourette’s. Seeking a thorough assessment can be the first step to getting some control over the situation. We can offer assessments with an experience psychiatrist within a few days and you do not need a GP referral to access our services


Treatment for Tourette’s:

As 85% of those with Tourette’s will also suffer with another condition, commonly obsessive-compulsive disorder or attention deficiency disorder, it is really important to get professional help.

A psychiatrist can diagnose Tourette’s and determine the best treatment plan. Treatment includes:

        • Medication – neuroleptics and atypical antipsychotics can be used to control the dopamine levels in the brain that are thought to influence Tourette’s. Prescribing the right drug can be complex and there can be side effects such as depression. If the individual also has another condition, such as ADHD, it is important to see a consultant who has experience in treating Tourette’s.
        • Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention Therapy – this can help the individual by teaching them coping mechanisms to help control their tics.

If you would like to talk to someone today about assessment or treatment options for Tourette’s Syndrome, please call one of our team on You do not need a GP referral and appointments are usually available within a few days.


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