Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological condition (affecting the brain and nervous system) that is characterised by a combination of involuntary noises and movements called tics.
The syndrome usually starts during childhood and continues into adulthood. In many cases it runs in families and it is often associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The tics do not usually pose a serious threat to a person's overall health, although physical tics, such as jerking of the head, can often be painful. However, children and adults with Tourette’s syndrome may experience associated problems, such as social isolation, embarrassment and low self-esteem.
Read more about the signs and symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome on NHS choices.
If you are a parent with a child experiencing tic-like behaviours, it may not be Tourette’s, and investigations are required to rule out other reasons. Please speak to any of your GP, health visitor, school health nurse, social worker or early help co-ordinator for support. These professionals will ask you questions about what the concerning behaviours are, how it impacts your child’s life, how long this has been occurring, and what sort of help you would like in order to work out who best to refer on to. If needed your GP will refer you on to a Neurologist, or a Psychiatrist or Psychologist working with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) to ascertain a diagnosis, to then be able to best work out the right support to offer.
There is a range of support that can be offered by the above professionals individually and through working together as professionals (we call this multi-disciplinary working). Following discussion with you they will suggest what opportunities may available to help, and who may be most appropriate to help.
Please click on the links on the left to find out more about the CCHP services that may be involved:
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health
- Health Visitor
- School Health Nurse
- Community Paediatrician
For more information about a condition, please visit NHS Choices.