Tics take the form of abnormal, repetitive, and unintentional movements or vocalizations that do not follow any rhythm or pattern. Provisional tic disorder, previously known as transient tic disorder, is a childhood motor disorder in which the child experiences seemingly involuntary motor and/or verbal tics for up to one year. Tics are often described as being preceded by a strong, uncontrollable urge to tic, followed by a release of tension. Some people also report feeling that their tic must be done in a certain way, and they will repeat the tic until it has been done “just right.”
Tic disorders generally surface in childhood; to meet the criteria for a diagnosis of provisional tic disorder, tics must have started before the age of 18. Tics are at least twice as common in boys as in girls, and symptoms usually begin before a child reaches puberty, with an average onset between the ages of 4 and 6. Symptoms tend to be most severe between the ages of 10 and 12 and improve as the child moves into adolescence.