ADHD: Identifying and managing tics

July 2, 2020

Tics and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can co-occur. A presentation at the 2020 Virtual Conference on Pediatric Health Care offers guidance.

During the 2020 Virtual Conference on Pediatric Health Care, Dawn Garzon Maaks, PhD, CPNP-PC, PMHS, FAANP, FAAN, the immediate past president of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and the Associate Professor at the University of Portland in the School of Nursing in Oregon, have a lecture on the diagnosis and treatment of tics in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

In order to be considered a tic, the behavior must begin by age 18 years, be present for at least a year, and have at least 2 motor tics and 1 vocal tic during the disease course. She said that tics commonly begin when a child is aged 4 to 8 years old. The symptoms can be treated with methylphenidate, clonidine, methylphenidate and clonidine, guanfacine, and desipramine. Additionally, stimulants used to treat ADHD could worse tics.

The lecture highlighted the need to rule out non-tic behavior when trying to diagnose a child.

For more on the lecture, check out our sister publication Contemporary Clinic.