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Tourette's Syndrome

  • By: Diane B. Findley
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Tourette's syndrome (TS) is a neuropsychiatric disorder of childhood characterized by motor and vocal tics that have been present for at least one year. Tics are defined as sudden, repetitive, stereotypic movements and vocalizations that are classified as simple (those that are rapid and appear to have no purpose) or complex (those that are slower, more orchestrated, and appear as if they do have some purpose). Common motor tics include eye blinking, facial grimacing, neck and shoulder movements, and tensing of muscles of the abdomen and limbs. Common vocal tics include sniffing, snorting, and throat clearing. In some cases, syllables, words, and phrases are repeated. Contrary to popular belief, only approximately 10% of individuals with TS have coprolalia (i.e., swearing).

The onset of tics is ...

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