Sometimes frequent tics cause muscle pains or headaches. The sensory feeling that accompanies some tics may be painful. Some children have self-injuring tics (pinching, smacking, etc.).
Social / Psychological Problems
When tics are frequent in children in mid- to upper-elementary grades, teasing and bullying may be problems. Parents of school-aged children should discuss with the child what to say when someone asks about tics or teases. Children may say, "It's just a habit," "It's just something I do," "It's a tic," or, "I have Tourette's." Again, a presentation to the class to help everyone understand the symptoms may help.
For teens, tics may cause or increase moodiness, anxiety, sadness or depression. (Imagine how hard it is for some teens to fit in socially or ask someone on a date. Now add frequent facial tics and you can see why this is difficult for some teens.) Membership in the Tourette Association of America may be helpful for meeting other kids with these symptoms and learning about successful or famous adults with Tourette's.
Research shows that parents are often more concerned about the social consequences of tics than kids are.
When tics are very frequent, they may interfere with reading, writing, speaking, playing musical instruments or sports. Fortunately, this is uncommon. A child may tic while waiting for a pitch; but, once the baseball is pitched, the tics usually disappear while the child focuses on hitting the ball.
Occasionally, a child may develop a very loud vocal tic. If frequent, this can be disruptive to the family and classroom. Fortunately, in school-age children, loud vocal tics are rarely present for longer than one year.