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Co-occurring Features and conditions

Tics are the primary symptom of Tourette Syndrome (TS); yet up to 85% of the TS population will also experience co-occurring features and conditions. These can be just as, if not more, challenging to manage than tics.

In order to understand and best support people living with TS it is vital to acknowledge - aside from tics - other associated features and conditions that many people with TS experience.  

Download our factsheets to the right for further information.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is the most common co-occurring condition with TS. ADHD is defined as a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness; that interferes with functioning or development.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is an anxiety-related condition where a person experiences frequent obsessional thoughts and/or compulsions that cause serious distress.


Anxiety is an emotion which gives someone an unpleasant feeling of tension and worry. It can be triggered by a stressful event or if someone feels under threat. Anxiety is a normal emotion, however, when anxiety is persistent, interferes with normal routines, and does not go away with reassurance and comfort; it is classified as an anxiety disorder.  You can read our Anxiety document (right-hand side); and we have a video resource about managing Anxiety from Specialist Teacher, Katie Skinner which you can view on our You Tube channel.


Disruptive or angry behaviours are reported in over 40% of people with TS. It can be very helpful to understand what the triggers and consequences of getting angry can be when learning how to manage the behaviour. Therapists can help with identifying this and Tourettes Action has resources for parents on how to support a child with anger issues. 
Watch our video resource of Dr Maria Hadji-Michael, Clinical Psychologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, define what anger difficultues are in TS, plus information and guidance to parents and schools on how to support a young person experiencing these difficulties

Executive Functioning Difficulties

The executive functions are a group of behaviours that facilitate tasks and independence. They also impact on a person’s ability to regulate their behaviours and responses. People of all abilities can have executive functioning difficulties and there is a good evidence base to indicate that people with Tourette Syndrome often have issues in this area.

Sensory Processing Difficulties

Sensory processing difficulties can be a feature for people with TS, involving any of our eight senses: taste, touch, hearing, vision, smell, proprioception (body awareness), vestibular (movement) and interoception (internal sensations such as thirst, hunger, pain). 


Depression is when someone experiences low mood for a prolonged period of time. Everyone can experience low mood from time to time – it is a normal emotion. When feelings of low mood and sadness are persistent, this might be a sign of depression.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or autism, is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience and interact with the world around them.

Sleep problems

Sleep related problems have been identified in both children and adults with TS, which can include difficulty falling asleep and frequent waking at night.