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  • My son is being diagnosed

    Hello everyone. I am new to this site and to Tourette's. My son, Aaron, is 9 and being diagnosed with Tourette's. We are waiting to see Dr. Sandor. The waiting list is a year long so we are seeing another doctor in the meanwhile to get the diagnoses. I am concerned that his school can discipline him for his actions without a formal diagnoses. This already happened last year with his blurting things out in class, even though he tried very hard to control it. After much investigation I was surprised that Aaron may also have OCD and ADHD. Thankfully his symtoms are mild at this point, but they are many. My question is; How to discuss with the school, what to tell them, how to move forward, do we tell the kids in the class or wait until they start teasing him? Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: My son is being diagnosed

    My question is; How to discuss with the school, what to tell them, how to move forward, do we tell the kids in the class or wait until they start teasing him?
    Contact your local TSFC Chapter and ask them about providing an in service presentation to your son's school. I believe the Chapter in Toronto has this available for its members.

    wait until they start teasing him
    You need to be pro active to prevent teasing. Teasing is counterproductive for the school, the students and especially for Aaron. Teasing will erode his self esteem and put him on the defensive.

    He needs to be taught and roll play some explanations of what Tourette is, and to be able to verbalize how Tourette is an involuntary neurological disorder.

    I am concerned that his school can discipline him for his actions without a formal diagnoses. This already happened last year with his blurting things out in class, even though he tried very hard to control it
    School staff who allow this to happen are improperly trained in recognizing disorders among their pupils. It's regrettable, but all too often true, which is why parents need to take a pro active approach in providing the training tools for school staff.
    Steve
    TouretteLinks Forum

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    • #3
      Re: My son is being diagnosed

      Hi Aaron's Mom

      Welcome to the TSFC Forum!

      What I used to do is set up a meeting with my son's teacher right before school started in the fall. I would use the meeting to explain that my son had Tourette Syndrome and to explain exactly what that meant for him at school. Even if the teacher is familiar with Tourette, each child is different and the way their symptoms show up, how he/she handles their own symptoms, etc. is different. Therefore it is important to open the communication with the teacher and set up a way to keep talking throughout the school year.

      I also provided a copy of Understanding Tourette Syndrome: A Handbook for Educators and I would highlight the sections that were particularly applicable to my son. That way the teacher could quickly get to the information that was most useful. Most of the teachers ended up reading the whole book. The book is available from the TSFC from their website.

      If your son's symptoms are noticeable at school, you may want to consider an in-service session for the students in the class. Quite often teasing is a result of students not understanding tics and OC behaviour. Usually once they know what why a person with Tourette 'has these funny behaviours' they are more tolerant. I find it is better to educate the classmates as soon as possible and to keep educating them in the years ahead. The TSFC has volunteers who do in-service sessions in schools. You can contact your local chapter or the national office (1-800-361-3120) to see if there is an in-service presenter in your area.

      Has the school told you that you need a formal diagnosis for your son before they will accommodate his tics and behaviours? I have never been asked to produce 'proof' of the diagnosis in order to get the right things in place to help my son cope with his tics in the classroom. However, my son is now a young adult and things may have changed in the school system. I have been asked to provide a doctor's letter or testing results for accommodations for learning disabilities.

      The main thing the school needs to know is that your son's behaviour is a result of neurology and not deliberate. An in-service for the teachers and other staff can also help to educate them on strategies for the classroom that will help them help your child.
      Cathy
      Forum Moderator

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      • #4
        Re: My son is being diagnosed

        Welcome Aaron's Mom!

        I am so glad you found us. Cathy and Steve have given you some great advice on how to handle the school and other kids.

        The only thing I might add is that the school needs to understand that your child, even at nine, knows what he needs in order to accomodate his tics. They should be (or you shoud be for now) asking him what would be helpful for him. For example: free pass to leave the class, permission to chew gum or anything else within reason that would be helpful for your son. In the beginning you will probably need to help your son with asking for these things.

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