Tics and Tourette syndrome in autism spectrum disorders Academic Article uri icon


  • Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are more frequently associated with tic disorders than expected by chance. Variable rates of comorbidity have been reported and common genetic and neurobiological factors are probably involved. The aim of this study was to determine the rate of tic disorders in a clinical sample (n = 105) of children and adolescents with ASDs and to describe the clinical characteristics of a group with comorbid ASDs and tics (n = 24). The overlap between tics and other repetitive movements and behaviors in ASDs was carefully assessed. Among individuals with ASDs, 22 percent presented tic disorders: 11 percent with Tourette disorder (TD), and 11 percent with chronic motor tics. All had various degrees of cognitive impairment. An association between the level of mental retardation and tic severity was found. It is concluded that the occurrence of tics in ASDs should not be overlooked and should be carefully evaluated.

publication date

  • January 2007