Practitioners teaching Practitioners:
Strategies for Teaching Students with Tourette Syndrome
Submitted to Austin Peay State University
College of Education
Dr. Moniqueka Gold
An estimated 2% of the population has Tourette syndrome and this disability was added too IDEA in 2004. This syndrome falls under the category listed in IDEA as and other health impairment. Most people mistake Tourette syndrome as a behavioral or emotional condition when actually it is a neurological condition. Students that have Tourette syndrome will not automatically be eligible for related services or special education. There are factors that are looked ...view middle of the document...
(National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, 2009) Stress or certain triggers can cause these tics to happen. Some students will try to ignore the tics, but then as they are trying to hold it in they are in discomfort and in stress.
The best way to help students that have Tourette syndrome is to have an individualized action plan for the student to help reduce tics, reduce the consequences that come with having the tics, and help get rid of the other symptoms of Tourette syndrome. There is not one specific way to help the student with Tourette because there are different needs to be addressed for every individual, but there are a few general strategies that should help the students with Tourette syndrome to be as successful as they can.
A student with Tourette syndrome need released free time. It is nearly impossible for students to stop the tics almost as hard as it is to hold in a sneeze. We do not want our students to sit in class all day only focusing on keeping the tics from coming out. A way to help these students is to give them a time where they can go privately to let the tics happen. This strategy will help the student be able get away from their peers to avoid embarrassment. (Shaw et. al, 2007) These students can also use these safe places to go between activities to be able to regroup and calm down, which may reduce the possibly of tics. (Chaturvedi, Gartin & Murdick 2011)
Another option to help students with Tourette syndrome is to exercise regularly. The student should try to do this at home, but the other option could be when the student is in gym or P.E If the teachers knew about it then they could allow the student to run laps or jump rope or do another activity that could help with their Tourette symptoms. (Shaw et. al., 2007)
The environment can have a huge effect on a student with Tourette syndrome. Things in the environment like new paint odors, florescent lights, or sugary treats could be triggers. It just depends on the student, so it takes time sometime to identify the triggers. Try to work with parents to figure out the triggers that need to be avoided to reduce triggers. (Shaw et. al., 2007) When it comes to the environment a classroom that is cluttered and that limit the space for the child with TS. Students with TS will need room and space to get their energy out. Also when considering the placement of a student there needs be a consideration of who the student sits by in the classroom. They need to be in proximity of peers who are accepting of differences. (Chaturvedi et. al., 2011) They also are in need a peer buddy be partner to this student and to help the child with Tourette’s to be successful. (Christner & Dieker, 2008)
Social skills training can also be a helpful strategy for students with Tourette syndrome. To a large degree, the most obvious symptoms of Tourette are much like those of ADHD. (Shaw et. al., 2007) Along with social skills, students with TS can also benefit from...