DS has tics or stims that come and go. he has been evaluated for autism but scored nowhere near the cutoffs, so at this point we do not have a diagnosis for this, it seems to come in a package with some SPD symptoms, anxiety, high sensitivity and academic giftedness.
So far, they have seemed to ramped up in fall and winter, and gotten better in spring and summer, which might correlate to stress level (school starting, Christmas excitements, very reduced outdoor play etc.). We have had hair pulling (first mine, then his own), finger stims, finger chewing, clothes chewing, spit play, penis play...I have always tried to redirect to socially appropriate activities, but am guilty of sometimes just shouting at him to stop when overwhelmed! He is also very resistant to redirection, I have to be constantly on top of it and keep track of where he loses all his fidget and chew toys. We have had good experiences with magnesium and zinc supplements, also fish oil and vitamin d, but have discontinued these as things have been alright all spring.
This year, he has started a new tic only recently, he blows on his fingers or just blows air through his mouth for no reason. So our seasonal explanation is off - but it could also be stress related as we have a lot going on in our family right now, with expecting our youngest with special needs in October and his starting formal school (first grade) in September.
It is helpful to be reminded that he cannot just stop what he is doing - it is harder to be accepting and calmly redirecting if you don't have an official diagnosis or even a good explanation.