Asperger Tics

Asperger Syndrome can have many complications such as tics. Tics are rapid sudden movements of muscles in your body or tics can be sounds. Both kinds of tics are very hard to control and can be heard or seen by others. However some tics are invisible like toe crunching or building up tension in your muscles.

Simple tics involve just one group of muscles and are usually short, sudden and brief movements such as twitching the eyes or mouth movements. Some simple tics can be: head shaking, eye blinking or lip biting. Simple vocal tics can be: throat clearing, coughing or sniffing.

Complex tics involve more than one muscle group and are longer movement which seem more complex such as jumping, hoping, touching people, hitting yourself or pulling clothes. Other complex vocal tics can be: repeating words of others or yourself all the time or repeating out loud what you have read.




Tics may increase as a result of negative emotions such as stress, tiredness or anxiety, but positive emotions as well, such as excitement or anticipation. These emotions are often experienced in those diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. This is why tics in children or adults with autistic disorders can be more common. A strong urge can be felt before the tics appear and sometimes with intensive therapy these urges can be suppressed. When tics or urges to have tics are suppressed there can be a built up off other tensions or even stress. Often when the tic is gone those who suffer from it feel a sense of relief.

Whenever children with Asperger focus their energy on something else like play computer games or watching TV their tics are decreasing due to relaxation.

Personal experience

My 8 year old son with Aspergers has several simple tics and a few complex ones. His tics appear mainly in his face and are there for very visible to others. He twitches his mouth and eyes all the time. He bites his lips in various ways so the skin around it is always red and irritated. Even though he feels the urges to do so he seems unable to control the movements. He is in tic therapy for this and as a mother it is painful to see this expression of anxiety or stress in your own child.

All I can say to all you parents out there: try not to worry about it too much; it will go away once they grow older or are able to express their feelings in another way. Most children with tics will be tic free once they have reached puberty.


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