Tourettes Awareness Day

Audio reading of the blog post



Welcome to our weekly CENMAC blog post

Tourettes Awareness Day | by Toby Seriki, CENMAC Specialist Technology Assistant


Tourette’s Syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes people to make involuntary and repetitive movements or noises. These are referred to as tics and can take many different forms. Tics fall broadly into two categories:  

  • Motor tics are involuntary muscle movements
  • Vocal tics are involuntary noises or words.  

The Tourette Association of America holds an awareness month
that runs from 15 May
– 15 June. This awareness month is
widely observed here in the UK as well

Tourette’s Syndrome is often sensationalised and misunderstood in mainstream media. Many people may picture shouting, swearing and exaggerated movements when they think of Tourette’s. Whilst it is true that symptoms do sometimes resemble these stereotypes, Coprolalia (involuntary swearing) is relatively uncommon, only affecting around 10% of those with Tourette’s, and tics in general are often much more subtle than many people realise. Both vocal and motor tics can be further divided into simple or complex. Take a look at this table of common tics from the Tourette’s Action website.


Complex motor tics involve multiple muscle groups and can occur in combinations to create quite complex movements. Complex vocal tics are words or phrases that appear out of context and may or may not be recognisable. The complexity of these tics can make them appear more purposeful than simple tics, but it is important to remember they are still completely unintentional. 


The Tourette Association of America holds an awareness month that runs from May 15 – June 15. This awareness month is widely observed here in the UK as well, with the charity Tourette’s Action holding an additional Tourette’s Awareness Day on 7 June. Both charities aim to advance research, provide support for those affected by Tourette’s Syndrome and raise awareness in order to increase social acceptance and understanding around the disorder. 


Move for Tourette’s is an ongoing campaign by Tourette’s Action in which you set yourself and others a challenge to be completed during Tourette’s Awareness Month. The challenge can be anything from a TikTok dance to a 10km run! Find out more about the Move for Tourette’s campaign by clicking here: Move for Tourette’s 


Recognising and celebrating Tourette’s Awareness Day is a great way to help break down stigma, bring a wider understanding and ultimately increase acceptance of Tourette’s. There are plenty of other ways you can get involved. Three great places to find out more about other ways of getting involved as well as more information about Tourette’s in general and avenues of support for those with Tourette’s are: 


Table of common tics from the Tourette’s Action website:

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