Tapping fingers (sometimes referred to as finger drumming) can occur as a tic. It can resemble stimming or fidgeting, the difference being the premonitory and/or involuntary urge that comes with a tic disorder.
Tic disorders often co-occur with other conditions such as ADHD. Finger tapping can be a result of one or more conditions, although the reasons for doing so differ.
Is finger-tapping a motor or vocal tic?
That action would be considered a motor tic, if this is carried out due to a tic disorder.
Is finger drumming a simple or complex tic?
Finger drumming would be considered a simple tic on its own, as it uses limited muscle groups and not part of a larger, more complex tic or pattern of behaviour. As mentioned earlier, finger tapping is a very common action carried out for a number of reasons. For parents observing tics in their children- it is important to be able to distinguish tics from hyperactivity, and other potential causes of movement.
Main article: The difference between simple and complex tics
Things to look out for with finger tapping tics
Finger tapping is relatively harmless, however may be stressful for those unable to control the urge to tic. It may also cause a problem in school, employment or the home front those uneducated on tic disorders. If tics are the cause, it is important to ensure plans are in place to prevent tics from disrupting day to day life as much as possible.
Is this caused by Tourette syndrome?
Tics must be present for at least one year, and consist of at least two motor tics and one vocal tic to be considered Tourette syndrome. Tic disorders always need to be diagnosed by a medical professional.
Main article: The difference between Tourette and other tic disorders