Student with Tourette's Syndrome

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teachin4ever, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    Mar 3, 2011

    Hey everyone!

    I found out last week that next year, I will have a student with Tourette's. I know it's still way early to be worrying about next year's students, but I'm just curious if anyone has ever had a student with Tourette's and if so, what kind of accommodations did you have to make? I'm just curious what to expect.

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I had two boys with Tourette's - they were relatively mild. Lots of tapping (I heard a great suggestion after I had them - give them a mouse pad so the sound will be muffled) and one made a funny clicking sound in the back of his throat.

    The biggest challenge for me was remembering (at first, anyway) that they couldn't help it. The tapping and clicking soon turned into normal classroom noise. No other issues :)
     
  4. AKPuffin

    AKPuffin Rookie

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    Mar 3, 2011

    I had a student two years ago with Tourette Syndrome. His ticks (muscle jerks and a barking/chirping sound) were mild compared to some I've heard of. I had him the last period of the day when his ticks were at their worst because he was tired from trying to control his them during the day. He chose to sit in the back of the room and excused himself if he needed to go into the hallway and just get a tick or two out of his system.

    To this day he is one of my favorite students and still visits with me and sometimes comes in my room on my prep so he can have a quiet place to hide and get rid of his ticks. He has expressed his appreciation of my care and understanding during a transitional time in his school career (middle school).

    Tourettes really isn't as scary as it sounds. Just speak to the Special Ed. teacher or the student about successful past accommodations!
     
  5. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    I wish I could do this!! I teach at a smallish private school, so there's no special ed teacher.

    I plan on speaking with his current teacher to see what she did to help him, but I wanted to get some more suggestions, if possible.
     
  6. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I think I read that less than 10% of people with Tourette's have the verbal outbursts that we all think of when we think of Tourette's.

    I had a kid with Tourette's and he was just twitchy. In fact, I have a funny story about him. I didn't know he had Tourette's at first. When I taught literature, he would always raise his eyebrows a lot like he was really listening and getting into what I was saying. That class was soo rowdy and some days I would just seek his face out in the class and teach to him because no matter what everyone else was doing, he was always interested in what I was saying. Then he told me one day that the moving his eyebrows and furrowing his brow was just a twitch of his Tourettes! lol. I was disappointed - I really thought he was hanging on my every word.

    However, he is applying for his masters in literature right now, so maybe my teaching right to him had a positive influence!
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I've had two students with Tourette's.

    One was female, and she just was just kind of twitchy. She moved her head and blinked a lot. She was really very quiet and an excellent student.

    The other student was male. He made a variety of noises. He was quite a handful. He really wasn't interested in school.

    I was in grad school with a guy with Tourette's. He told me about it because I sat next to him, and he said that he sometimes startled people with his noises and movements.
     
  8. strepsils

    strepsils Companion

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    Mar 4, 2011

    I had a twitchy student. All I had to do was tell other teachers who taught him so they don't yell at him for moving his head etc a lot. Kids didn't notice with him
     
  9. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Mar 4, 2011

    I've not had a student but a friend does have a sat nav (I think you call it GPS) system in his car with a Tourettes voice!
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    When I student taught I had a young man with Tourette's. For the main part he just had some minor impulse control issues, but when he was stressed, he had some major tics. I was honestly afraid he might hit the desk behind him when his head would shoot back. Thankfully, one of the popular kids in the class took some quiet advice and lent his support and friendship to my afflicted lad. Not only did the worst of the Tourette's symptoms dissipate, the popular kid's work ethic in class shot through the roof.
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I have had several.

    One moved her chair in short jerky motions. One pulled out his eyelashes (that could've just been OCD). Some made throat clearing sounds. Another put everything in his mouth and got marks all over his mouth area - pencils, erasers, markers, pen, ink, etc. You name it.

    I hever had a student who called out repeatedly with unrestrainable comments or phrases.

    The hardest thing, I think, is helping the other kids to understand the disability and to overlook it. We had no spec ed teacher at school.
     
  12. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    I had a student with Tourette's several years ago. My biggest problem was he would repeat words that he heard - several times. The other kids in the class knew that and would whisper inappropriate words to him in class to get him started.
    He was very aware the issues his disability caused for other students. We would ask to sit in the hall during tests so he wouldn't disturb other students. I didn't want him to feel like he was being punished, so I would let him sit in my office during tests.
     
  13. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Mar 4, 2011

    I have a student with Tourette's this year. The tics have changed throughout the year, and the rest of the students in the class have grown up with him, so they don't make a big deal out of it.

    Just try to ignore the tics as much as possible because drawing attention to them will only stress the child out more, thus causing them to tic more. It can be a vicious cycle.
     
  14. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    I have had several students with Tourette's and the meds they took pretty much controlled it. A little bit of tapping and facial expressions. I believe there is a singer on Amercian Idol that has Tourette's. I haven't watched for a couple of episode's so I don't know if he made it. I'm a SPED teacher and always start off the year talking about understanding "issues" and model some different ideas. Using a dollar bill taped to the whiteboard asking the tallest kid to get it down and then using myself (a shorty) trying to reach to get it down and talking about equal and fair...well you get the idea. First meltdown in my room I have, I deal with it as an "issue" and if appropriate make a statement something like oops having a bad day....... make it real for the kids and you won't have problems.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 4, 2011

    Does the child have a 504 this year that you could see?
     
  16. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    Mar 4, 2011

    He does. According to his current teacher, homework is optional and he can't take notes, so anything written on the board needs to be photocopied and given to him. She has also mentioned that he has a hard time letting go of things, and they have had to have him physically pick up an eraser or something and drop it to encourage him to "let go of" whatever he's arguing about.

    I'll be meeting with his mom and his other teachers at the end of the year to get all the information, and will take a look at his IEP then. I just thought I'd get an idea of what to expect from others who have been there already.
     
  17. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    I have not had issues with Tourette's as you described. I looked in my school textbook for a discription of what disorders are associate with tourette's and this is what I found: people with TS can experience additional neurobehavioral problems including inattention; hyperactivity and impulsivity (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder—ADHD) and related problems with reading, writing, and arithmetic; and obsessive-compulsive symptoms such as intrusive thoughts/worries and repetitive behaviors. So until you see his IEP and find out his classification it appears that you will need to wait for information. Wish I could be of more help.
     

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