Tics for children: causes, therapy and tips for dealing with tics

Clearing your throat, winking, shrugging your shoulders: Tics like this are common among children. Most of the time it starts all of a sudden. The youngsters start developing tics out of nowhere. This is very strange to parents and scares them. Many parents therefore wonder whether the tics in children are normal or a case for the doctor. We explain what tics are, how they come about and how you can best deal with them.

7. Further literature on tics in children

1. A distinction is made between tic disorders

A tic is a Disease symptom characterized by motor constraints. They are mostly unconscious, short and sometimes complex contractions of individual muscles and muscle groups. Nervous movements seem very strange to outsiders. Alternatively, the tic consists of uncontrolled vocalizations. A general distinction is made between simple and complex tics.

  • Simple tics:
    Motor tics include, for example, blinking eyes, rolling eyes, winking eyes, shaking heads, grimaces, nodding or frowning. With vocal tics, blowing your nose, barking, spitting, coughing or clearing your throat is very common. Then there are loud breathing noises.
  • Complex tics:
    In the motor area, complex tics are understood to be the more conspicuous constraints such as biting, tapping, beating, pounding or hopping. Vocal ticks are also much more dominant. Children scream, whistle or hum.

The problem with tics is that they cannot be suppressed. If the affected person is able to avoid a tic, then this is only possible for a short duration. Unloaded in many cases yourself Tics in an unobserved moment all the worse and more intense.

Note: Alternatively, you can also use tics ck, so ticks, write. Nothing changes in the pronunciation. However, the latter form has become unusual.

2. Why do tics arise in children – the causes

The German Society for Neurology assumes that approximately 15 percent of all children suffer from tic disorders. This means that they do not show expressions or movements bound to a purpose. The disorders are common between 6 and 14 years. In which Boys average 3 times more often than girls are affected.

It is not yet clear why tics develop in children. Triggers and causes are usually very individual and therefore general statements cannot be made. However, experts assume that the tics are often triggered or intensified by stress or other factors. Genetic traits also seem to play a role.

3. Tic disorders often go away on their own

Tics are often a temporary phenomenon in children.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s just motor or vocal tics – or even a mixture of both. Children often only show this habit for a certain time. Tic disorders last between 4 to 12 months on average on. After that, children should wean themselves off their behavior on their own.

So if a tic develops in your child, there is no need to panic at first. They are often harmless and have no further impact on your child’s health.

Give your child time and trust that the tics are temporary. However, you should always watch the child and decide individually if necessary. If you have the feeling that the pressure of suffering in your child is particularly great – for example due to the behavior of classmates or friends – then it is advisable to intervene at an early stage.

4. The correct handling of tics in children

The fact is that most tics are temporary and disappear on their own. Tics rarely develop into serious disorders such as Tourette or others Diseases. Weaning off the tics shouldn’t be a priority for parents. In any case, be aware that tics in children are by no means to be understood as malicious intent. Affected people suffer much more from the tics and are unable to permanently suppress the movements or sounds. So be especially forgiving and loving, to make your child feel good. How to support your child:

  • Acceptance:
    Acceptance is actually a crucial factor. Treat the child as normal and give them the feeling that their idiosyncrasies are perfectly fine. You have to make sure that the child is not unsettled from the outside and feels that his behavior is bad or wrong.
  • Create understanding:
    Pay attention to the environment. If you notice that friends, relatives or classmates react critically, you should intervene immediately. It is a big problem if the child is teased because of his tics. You should definitely prevent this, otherwise the tics could develop into a serious syndrome.
  • Reduce stress:
    It is not uncommon for the tics to be caused by stress. Once the tics are there, additional stress will definitely make them worse. Therefore, make sure that the stressful situations are reduced and provide your child with a safe and stress-free environment.
  • No prohibitions:
    Tics in children can be very tiring and you want to get rid of your child’s uncontrolled movements and sounds as quickly as possible. Avoid bans. This only creates unnecessary pressure on your child. In the worst case, this even leads to an aggravation of the symptoms.

5. If the tic doesn’t go away, you should see a doctor

Harmless tic or tourette? Sometimes going to the doctor is inevitable.

It must be decided in individual cases when the visit to the doctor can no longer be avoided. Tics in children are not uncommon and luckily the constraints will go away on their own in most cases.

However, if the disorder persists for half a year and there is no improvement, you should consider seeing a doctor. Then the problem is probably chronic or there is a specific cause.

The doctor will examine the child and find out whether there is an illness such as Tourette or ADHD behind the tics. But you can assume that Tics in children are curable, if you choose the right treatment.

6. Therapy and treatment of tic disorders

You may need to have the tics treated. There are various treatment options when tics are found in children. Provided that the suffering of parents and children is very high, it is advisable to start behavioral therapy. The child becomes superficial with this therapy learn to deal with your constraints and regain control of your own body.

In addition to dealing with the tics, the goal is to be able to permanently get rid of the uncontrolled movements or sounds. Medications are only necessary in very rare cases. In the case of very pronounced tic disorders, medication is advisable in order to minimize the suffering.

Homeopathy is a sensible alternative. You can have your child treated by a homeopath who draws up an individual therapy plan and prescribes medication such as Bach flowers in the form of globules, tea or spray. Homeopathy has the advantage that it is a gentle and natural therapy.


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Christina Cherry
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