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Thread: Newbie!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    North Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Age
    30
    Posts
    9

    Wink Newbie!

    Hi, my name is Amy. I'm 20 years old, and I am a criminal justice student in university.

    I was diagnosed with Tourettes on November 30, 2006. I'd been suffering from the tics since I was sixteen. I blink a lot and I often bend my head to the side. I also need to slap my hand against something from time to time. My vocal tic is a noise I make in my throat, that sounds almost like a growl. They started when I was sixteen and got progressively worse. My university arranged for me to see a neurologist, who diagnosed me, and since then my school has been great in providing me with the tools that I need to succeed academically.

    I live in Ontario, Canada. Anyone else here from the great, wide North?
    In God We Trust
    Justice For All

  2. #2

    Default Re: Newbie!

    Welcome Amy!

    I am so glad you are here! How lucky you are to have such a supportive school!

    What kind of "tools" does the University supply to you? There are several University students here who I am sure would benefit from hearing more about how TS is affecting your studies and how you are coping with that.

    I am really looking forward to your contributions!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    North Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Age
    30
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Newbie!

    Some stuff that my university has provided for me have been mostly aimed at helping me with my attention problems, which is due not only to my Tourettes but also to ADHD. I was given a QuickPad so that I can type my notes in class instead of having to handwrite them (a QuickPad is smaller and much more mobile than a laptop). They also gave me some programs for my computer, including Kurzweil 3000, which reads my textbooks to me, and Inspiration, which I can use for brainstorming my term papers. I've also been signed up for my school's disability forum, which allows other students with disabilities to contact each other, access support groups, look in to tutoring options, and contact disability staff if they have questions or need help.

    The biggest advantage they've given me though is access to distraction-reduced rooms to write my tests and exams. I'm even given access to a laptop for most of my exams. They also give me a one-third extra time on all of my tests (i.e. I'm given 4 hours to write a 3 hour exam, or 2 hours to write a 1 1/2 hour exam). And if I need to take a break during my tests, it's fine. They don't deduct the time I need for a break from my writing time. My average has gone up 5% from when I was in high school, and I think it's going to improve more as I get more comfortable with these new tools.

    So, that's why Nipissing U rocks!
    In God We Trust
    Justice For All

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St. John's NL
    Posts
    1,147

    Default Re: Newbie!

    Welcome

    Great to hear that you are getting the accommodations you need to succeed at post-secondary level. My oldest with TS also has a written output disorder and we just downloaded Inspiration yesterday, he has not yet used it.

    Hopefully we will hear more of your experiences. Thanks for joining in.
    Janet, mom of 4

    TSFC Homepage


    "Intelligence is always increasing; accommodation allows your intelligence to do what it has always done." Cassie Green, Washington College

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    North Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Age
    30
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Newbie!

    Janet,

    I believe your child is going to enjoy Inspiration and really get a lot of use out of it, especially if he/she is a visual learner. I'm really enjoying my Inspiration program. It's made writing essays a lot easier for me. :Big Grin:
    In God We Trust
    Justice For All

  6. #6

    Default Re: Newbie!

    Amy, now that you have had some time to use your new tools do you think that it would have been helpful to you to have these in Jr High and High School or do you think that it was better to learn the basics without that kind of support?

    Janet - how is your son liking inspiration? And I am going to pose the same question to you that I asked of Amy above.

    I am going over my son's IPP as we speak and was wondering if I sould ask them to start using some of these supports yet or not. He is in grade 8.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    North Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Age
    30
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Newbie!

    mom2TSguy,

    Well, one of the things I'm most proud of is that I did make it on my own merit all the way into my first year of university without any kind of support whatsoever.

    I'm not entirely sure I would have been comfortable accepting help from my high school simply because my particular school's response to anyone with a disability was to stick them in the special education program. Psychological assessments have revealed that I have superior intelligence and do not belong in a special ed. classroom setting.

    However, having the special tools that I now have at my disposal probably would have benefitted me in high school and lessened the stress I felt in my last two years before coming to university.

    Since your son is going into high school soon, I'd suggest contacting the school and asking them what they can do for your child. Then you can decide with your son whether or not the school's services would be beneficial to his education. Take your son's intelligence, abilities, and potential into consideration as you make your decision.

    Today is the anniversary of my diagnosis! It was tough getting here, but I think it's going to be a bit easier from now on. ;)
    Last edited by Amy Kate; November 30, 2007 at 09:16 PM.
    In God We Trust
    Justice For All

  8. #8

    Default Re: Newbie!

    wow... your symptoms are so trivial and it started at 16???

    You must be the luckiest person in the world.

    I am now sitting home unable to go to school or get a job, i tried multiple times to attend post secondary school but i developed this new evolved tourettes i can't really explain in words... Life's great isn't it when you can go to school?

    im 19 btw, and i prob need serious help.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St. John's NL
    Posts
    1,147

    Default Re: Newbie!

    Hi there

    TS is not trivial if it has a negative impact on your quality of life regardless of how complex the symptoms are or the age of onset. We often hear that those diagnosed are above average intelligence and that it is the symptoms of the disorder that cause learning difficulties. If you want to change things you need to partner with people around you and get the help you need.

    My partnerships led me to the information about this software that OI knew nothing about before. I downloaded inspiration and my son has not used it yet except for a family tree assignment. I have been trying to play with it first. Amy like you my son is very intelligent and we were told he is gifted probably in the top 3-5 % of his peer group. This does not help when he can't get his thoughts organized on paper. When he was younger his written output problems presented as he was assessed through occupational therapy and it was recommended he use assisted technology then and he did, from grade 4-7 and in grade 8 and 9 he didn't feel he needed it because of the types of testing and written work that was assigned in his school. I knew this would be an issue once he went to high school so this is why I needed the assessment because I needed to know that he was or wasn't at his full potential... and it proved he is not doing his best work because he needs the assisted technology.

    mom2TSguy if you think your son would produce more qualitative or effective work then you should explore this. One of the pieces of my son's assessment was having him produce a response by hand, then another was evaluated when he responded verbally bit the best answer was when he could type the answer. Keep in mind when you type you don't get stuck on how things look, the spelling concerns, the duration ability of your arm keeping up with your need to write and when answering verbally you can't go back and review what you said already and often cause rambling or getting off track etc... does that make sense? talk about rambling LOL.
    Janet, mom of 4

    TSFC Homepage


    "Intelligence is always increasing; accommodation allows your intelligence to do what it has always done." Cassie Green, Washington College

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    North Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Age
    30
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Newbie!

    tmtitan911 - My onset was unusually late, but my doctors believe that I may have been exhibiting symptoms since adolescence that simply weren't obvious (i.e. blinking, attention problems, etc.). They became more pronounced when I was sixteen, probably because of the stress I was feeling in school as I was striving for the highest grades possible in order to get into my university of choice and qualify for scholarships. My tics aren't so bad now because I've found a medication that works for me (Clonidine) and I've also been trying stress-management techniques. I find that learning to manage my stress as really helped to reduce my tics as Tourettes is usually stress-induced. If your tics are really so bad that you can't work or go to school, I would recommend that you see your doctor/neurologist/psychiatrist... That's a serious issue that should be addressed.

    I wouldn't consider myself the luckiest person in the world, though. Lucky would be not having Tourettes at all, lol! ;)

    Janet - Inspiration will be great for your son if he has trouble organizing his thoughts. It'll be especially beneficial if he's a visual learner. I have a lot of problems organizing my thoughts as well (a psych analysis found my general intelligence to be in the 96th percentile for my age group, but my working memory is signifcantly lower than this). Inspiration is really great because you can just write stuff down as it comes to you and eventually you can bring it all together into a full report.
    In God We Trust
    Justice For All

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