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Dealing with TS+ in College

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  • Dealing with TS+ in College

    Hello all! It's been a long time since I've posted but all is well!
    However, I'm going off to school next week and I'm not exactly sure how to go about it. It's been a year since i've been out of high school, and it was very difficult for me in dealing with my TS+ symptoms, particularly the attention deficit issues and OCD.
    Things like multiple, repetitive noises, people talking, the sound and texture of pencils etc, made it incredibly difficult to concentrate and I often found myself in the middle of a panic attack because of it. Because My teachers understood my difficulty I was often allowed to work out in the hall, but even that hardly helped.

    Although at the time it seemed a huge problem, It seems fairly small in comparison considering back then I wasn't paying 10,000 dollars to go to school. I cannot waste this. The tics I can deal with, somebody asks, I tell them straight up what they are, but the other stuff is a different story.

    so my question is, how can I cope with these issues in a post-secondary scenario?

    PS I didn't want to call myself a student with a disability because I am not.

  • #2
    Re: Dealing with TS+ in College

    Hello Aidan and thanks for returning to the Forum. It's good to hear from you.

    I didn't want to call myself a student with a disability because I am not.
    Of course you are not, but you may have specific needs in order to excel in your work. You may want to investigate what provisions your College has in place for people with specific needs. The National Office of TSFC may be able to advise you as well on how to approach the situation.

    it was very difficult for me in dealing with my TS+ symptoms, particularly the attention deficit issues and OCD.
    As you are probably aware the symptoms of TS+ are usually more easily treatable than the tics. Have you discussed treating the ADD and anxiety with your doctor?

    Some information about associated anxiety disorders is contained in our Forum HERE and a lot more on our sister Forum Psychlinks HERE. Information on ADHD is located HERE.
    TouretteLinks Forum


    • #3
      Re: Dealing with TS+ in College

      Hey Steve.

      Yes, I am aware of that. I've talked to my doctor and prescriptions are helping, but there are certain situations where it is still difficult for me to cope.

      I was poking around on my college website to see who to talk to and I found this:


      • #4
        Re: Dealing with TS+ in College

        "PS I didn't want to call myself a student with a disability because I am not."[/QUOTE]

        Hi there!

        I'm a mom of two children who have TS +, but I'm also a nearly graduated Educational Assistant!

        My suggestion to you is to contact the Accessibility Office at your school (every college/university has one) and approach them with your needs! This should be done as soon as possible. You need to provide some documentation (IEP) that your secondary school board might have provided you with for your needs.

        They may have suggestions for you that you have never thought of for yourself. E.g. Instead of pencils, use voice data recorders to capture lecture hall notes from your prof. Use the livescribe (echo pen) that can help you record your notes digitally (can be downloaded to your PC) and also capture any voice data, as well. You may also be able to get a copy of your prof's notes and Power Points. All of these tools can help you especially if your have difficulty attending to all the details.

        The accessibility office may also be able to provide you with more time and alternate settings for test taking...

        Hope this helps!



        • #5
          Re: Dealing with TS+ in College

          Hi Aidan,

          First, a big CONGRATS on being accepted to Niagara College! What an accomplishment!
          I know you don't want to identify yourself as a student with disabilities, but this is, unfortunately, the only way you will be able to receive the accommodations you need to succeed. Look at it as another service your $10,000 tuition is paying for.

          Please contact the Disability office as soon as you can. They will be overwhelmed with students once school officially starts.
          Many of the accommodations that suggested in the web link you provided are ones that need time to implement.
          The more time you give them to help you the better.
          Let's take a look at the Academic Accommodations section together:

          Students with disabilities are expected to accomplish the “core competencies” of their programs. To achieve this, accommodations are provided to minimize or eliminate any disadvantage their disability presents. Accommodations are unique to each individual.
          The disability support office in your college makes these recommendations based on confidential documentation that the student provides to the college. Some of the most commonly provided academic accommodations to students with ADHD include:
          Carefully read this statement. Niagara College is required BY LAW to provide you with these accommodations. The people who work in the Disability Office have been trained to be helpful. Do not be intimidated by them. Put some thought into what accommodations you will need and why. Make sure you have supporting documentation from your doctor to demonstrate that you have a medical condition that requires these accommodations and be helpful and positive with the person assigned to your file.

          Right now, you're at a disadvantage. In future, you should approach the Disability Office in June/July before you start school so there's lots of time for them to help you. Know that one week before school, they're going to have a lot of people talking to them, and will be stressed. Go out of your way to be nice to these people, and they'll bend over backwards for you. Be patient, kind and considerate - treat them exactly as you would like them to treat you.

          Now, let's take a look at the suggested accommodations:

          • reduced course load (encourage taking fewer courses per term to help manage workload)

          You will have been assigned your course load by now. However, if you talk to the Disability Office soon, and find the course load is too much for you, they may be able to adjust the course load for you. Be careful with this, you don't want too few courses or you might lose your full-time student status. Make sure they fully explain the implications of reduction of course load to you, especially with regard to its impact on qualifying for your degree - there may be time-limits to complete all courses in x-number of years.

          • provision of a note taker for lectures (due to problems with listening and note-taking done simultaneously)

          This is a very important one for students with ADHD. Having a scribe can help you focus on the lecture, then you can focus on what is being said, and make notes only on things you don't understand. Then after the lecture, you can reread the scribe's notes and/or take a closer look at the textbook until you understand that concept.

          • access to a computer to organize and edit assignments

          This has been a very useful accommodation for another young man I know, who couldn't afford his own computer or the software required for his courses. The school provided him one for the duration of his studies so he could work at times convenient for him. Often computer labs at universities/colleges have set hours or limits to the time you can use a machine. They can also be busy places, full of distractions for your ADHD.

          • provision of extended time for tests and exams. The amount of extra time is determined by the disability support office, but is usually time and a half.

          Again, a very useful accommodation. This is your contingency plan in case you need it. It's better to have this than not.

          • tape recording of lectures

          If they cannot provide you with a scribe, this is very useful as well. A digital recorder can be purchased now for a couple of hundred dollars. However, to use it, you must have permission from the professor, and the Disability Office can arrange this for you.

          • short breaks to help the student refocus attention (testing situations included)

          Consider if you might need these breaks for symptoms of TS and OCD as well.

          • writing exams/tests in a quiet room free from distractions

          With your TS symptoms, you may need to have your exam in a separate room so you don't disturb other students, or have your OCD kick in making you self-conscious about your tics disturbing others (when in fact they might not be.)

          • time extensions on assignments (to be negotiated ahead of time between student and professor)

          Again, a contingency plan, in case you need it. But always aim to get your work in on time, do not abuse this privilege.

          One last point, because you have the complex neurology of TS, OCD and ADHD - write out a list of your triggers (the things that make your symptoms worse) and how these triggers could affect you in the classroom. Bring this list with you to the meeting. If you know of accommodations that worked with you in high school, bring a list of these as well.

          Finally, if this is overwhelming, send me a private message on the Forum with your phone number, and we can talk this through. The time is ticking before you start school and I'm not working at the TSFC National Office at the moment, but have helped lots of youth as part of IYM in the past. We want to see you succeed.


          ---------- Post Merged at 05:38 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 05:31 PM ----------

          I'd like to thank Kim for her suggestions.

          Aidan, please take a look at the web page for "Accessing Our Services" from Niagara College
          for a list of the documentation they will require from you.

          Even if you do not have all of this ready, contact them as soon as possible.
          This text is from the above link:

          It is YOUR responsibility to contact us. The earlier you ask for assistance, the more effective we can be in facilitating the appropriate support.
          We usually meet new students in August to discuss their needs. If you have not heard from our Centre by the last week of August, please contact our office.

          Note they are contacting students by this week, so it's a busy one for them. Be patient, but keep trying to get in contact.
          Even better, be at their office first thing on Monday. They open at 8:30 am.
          Bring a pad of paper with you so you can think about what accommodations you will need while you're waiting.
          Tina, Forum Moderator, TSFC Staff Liaison

          TSFC Homepage
          TSFC Membership


          • #6
            Re: Dealing with TS+ in College

            thanks guys!

            So approaching student services about it would require a doctors note?


            • #7
              Re: Dealing with TS+ in College

              You will need a doctor's note eventually, but talk to them right away and get a file open as soon as you can.
              Good luck!
              Tina, Forum Moderator, TSFC Staff Liaison

              TSFC Homepage
              TSFC Membership