Medical history for Tourette's disorder

During a medical history for Tourette's disorder (TD), your child's doctor will ask questions about your child's tics. You may have to monitor the tics for a few months to accurately answer all questions. Questions may include:

  • What kinds of tics are present, and what makes them worse?
  • When did the tics first start, and which type of tics came first?
  • Did the tics first start after an infection or illness?
  • Are the tics noticed by other people, such as teachers and children at school?
  • Has your child tried to control the tics? What are the results of that effort?
  • Does your child seem aware of the tics? Has your child said anything that indicates he or she is frustrated or upset about them?
  • Does your child have any habits or rituals that have to be done a certain way?
  • How does your child perform at school? Has his or her teacher mentioned any difficulties with attention span, staying on task, or bothering others?
  • How much do the tics interfere with your child's daily activities or school performance?
  • What medicines is your child currently taking?

Tourette's disorder likely has a strong genetic component. This means that having a particular gene or combination of genes makes a person likely to develop the condition. After answering a doctor's detailed questions about the family's medical history, many parents of a child with TD are surprised to learn other family members may have also had symptoms of the condition.

Questions a doctor may ask about you, your family, and other factors that may be associated with your child developing TD include:

Last Updated: September 2, 2009

Author: Debby Golonka, MPH

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology

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