When is a tic just a tic? Hard to say.
Not this kind of tick.
Mr. B started having facial tics about a month or two ago. These are more common in boys, and often "just a phase." We haven't made much of it, but we have one son with an Absence Seizure Disorder and facial tics are one side effect. We've also noticed Mr. B occasionally "zoning out," which isn't unusual behavior for a 7-year-old boy, but Mr. T's seizure disorder is genetic which means we have a good shot at having another child with the same disorder. And (bonus!) boys get the seizure disorder 4 times the rate of girls. We have all boy children. This isn't our first rodeo. (Darn, that saying sounds much cooler than it looks typed here.) The EEG determines whether Mr. B is having seizures. Or not. Preferably not.
It was upsetting to learn about Mr. T's seizures--scary and we still don't have any guarantees that he'll outgrow them someday. It has disrupted life for him in a lot of ways. But we know the treatment options, we have health insurance, we like our family doctor and the pediatric neurologist is a fairly decent sort, too. We have resources to diagnose and treat this disease.
I'd still prefer to hear the tic is just a tic. Stay tuned.