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Pediatrics/Recurring blinking


Dear Dr.Olson,

My 4 year old son had a blinking tic which lasted 3 months before resolving.

It has been one month since it vanished, but has started to resurface once again (we have not noticed any specific stress/anxiety/changes in his life).

My question is, can it still be a simple transient tic if it goes away and comes back in such a short time?  Is it normal for the same tic to reappear?  My reading seems to suggest if a tic free period does not last up to 3 months it can signal problems.  As such, I'm a little confused as to whether we are now looking at something more sinister.

Your knowledge and experience would be much appreciated.

Best wishes

Hi, Jacqui,

Minor motor tics are common in kids and often recur, sometimes without an obvious precipitant.  Tics without vocalization can last many days, in one form or another.  Generally, without other signs of psychologic or neurologic dysfunction, they are benign and not a part of other syndromes.  Here is a helpful handout I use with my patients.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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