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Pediatric Tourette Syndrome

Key Points About Tourette Syndrome in Children

  • Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder. It affects more boys than girls.
  • The disease causes repeated tics. These are sudden, uncontrolled vocal sounds or muscle jerks.
  • Symptoms of Tourette syndrome often begin between ages 5 and 10.
  • Tourette syndrome can occur differently in boys and girls. Boys are more likely to have long-term (chronic) tics. Girls are more likely to have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Some children may not need treatment. A child with Tourette syndrome can usually function well at home and in a regular classroom. In some cases, a child may need special classes, psychotherapy or medicine.
  • A family with a history of Tourette syndrome should speak with a geneticist or a genetic counselor.
Children's Team

Children's Team


Jeffrey Rabin

Jeffrey Rabin

Vice-Chair, Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine
Pediatric Rehabilitation Specialist
Chronic Pain Specialist
Laura Tochen

Laura Tochen

Co-Director, Movement Disorders Program
Co-Director, Myelin Disorders Program


Movement Disorders Program

The Movement Disorders Program at Children’s National Hospital offers evaluation, diagnosis and treatment to more than 400 children each year with conditions that affect the speed, quality and ease of their movement.

Psychology and Behavioral Health

In the Division of Psychology and Behavioral Health, our child psychologists and other mental health professionals work exclusively with children and teens, emphasizing patient and family-focused care.


Our pediatric neuroscience team is the largest in the country, allowing us to offer our vast experience to patients and families.