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Children with Tourette’s Syndrome

Found in: building trust & community; parent-teacher communication; routines & procedures

If you work with a child who’s been diagnosed with Tourette's, I have a few suggestions that may help.

First, meet with the parents of the student to ask about deflecting the onset of the behaviors. They may know triggers. You may also ask them to sign a release of information form to enable you to speak with the child's physician. S/he may have advice as well.

To help your class to understand the child, again speak with the parents. Ask if they would feel comfortable having you talk with the class about the behaviors they may see in order to prepare them. Some families will agree to this. I once had a severe/profound student in my K class and the parents came in and spoke to us.

My last suggestion is to model, model, model. I think this is probably the best thing you can do. Students will follow your lead. Kids can ignore and deal with more than we often give them credit for. I had a bipolar student one year who had major tantrums. The first few times these happened, all eyes were on me. I ignored the behavior (the strategy that had been agreed upon with the family) and they learned to do the same. They realized that if I wasn't upset, they shouldn't be.


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