Tourette (TS) Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by tics -- involuntary, rapid, sudden movements that occur repeatedly in the same way. To receive a diagnosis of TS a person must have both multiple motor and one or more vocal tics, not necessarily simultaneously, throughout a span of more than one year. The tics may occur many times a day (usually in bouts) nearly every day or intermittently. Tics periodically change in the number, frequency, type and location and wax and wane in their severity. Symptoms can sometimes disappear for weeks or months at a time. While most persons with TS have some control over their symptoms from seconds to hours at a time, suppressing them may merely postpone more severe outbursts. Tics are experienced as irresistable and (as the urge to sneeze) eventually must be expressed. Tics increase as a result of tension or stress and decrease with relaxation or concentration on an absorbing task.
Tics are categorized as Motor or Vocal, Simple or Complex. Simple tics are movements or vocalizations which are completely meaningless, whereas complex tics are movements or vocalizations which make use of more than one muscle group or appear to be meaningful.
Twirling in circles
Walking on toes
"Tsk," "Pft," etc.
Amplitude of speech
Animal sounds -- cow, dog, etc.
Barely audible muttering
"Hey," "Wow," etc.
Repeating parts of words
Talking to oneself
Copropraxia: Making obscene gestures.
This page based on a handout designed by Becky Ottinger,
Education Consultant for the Kansas City Chapter of the
Tourette Syndrome Association.
Echopraxia: Mimicking movements that others make.
Coprolalia: Vocalizing obscene or other socially unacceptable words or phrases.
Echolalia: Repeating what someone else just said.
Palilalia: Repeating your own words over and over again.
This page based on a handout designed by Becky Ottinger, Education Consultant for the Kansas City Chapter of the Tourette Syndrome Association.