Ways to Support a Friend with Tourette, Part 5: Offer help when needed

Tourette Syndrome is a two-sided coin. One side is that of the individual with the disorder, the point of view from which he sees the world. Then there’s the other side, the perspective of all those who are close to that individual.

Tourette can be an awkward thing to talk about. It’s gotten easier for me as the years go by, but when I was younger, it was the last thing I wanted to admit to myself, let alone other people. And yet, sometimes it’s just the elephant in the room, something you can’t just ignore. As a friend, it’s important to know how to address your friend’s Tourette delicately and honestly. It can strengthen your friendship, and it can build your friend like little else can.

Here is the fifth of 6 ways to love on your friends with the neurological disorder, Tourette Syndrome (TS), as told by someoneone with Tourette:


If You’re Close to Someone with Tourette… Continue reading

List of all NJCTS webinars, including October 1 on trade secrets of a Tourette doc


Trade Secrets of a Tourette Syndrome Doctor

October 1, 2014
Presented by Tolga Taneli, MD

Would you like to learn some great tips on speaking with your child’s doctors?  How about getting them all to collaborate with each other about your child?  Did you ever wonder about the drug approval process?  Learn about this and more in this webinar!



Mental Health Issues? Asians have those? Understanding the stigma surrounding mental health for Asian and Asian Americans

October 8, 2014
Presented by Dr. Andrew J. Lee
More information about this webinar »

Bullying & Vulnerable Populations

November 19, 2014
Presented by Nadia Ansary, Ph.D.
More information about this webinar »

Monsters, Robbers & Nightmares, Oh My! Simple Ways to Improve Your Child’s Sleep

December 3, 2014
Presented by Courtney Weiner, Ph.D.
More information about this webinar »

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List of all NJCTS webinars, including September 17 on getting kids motivated for school


Getting Kids Motivated for School

September 17, 2014
Presented by Graham Hartke, Psy.D.

As our schools continue to increase curriculum, testing, and workload standards, many kids and teens are struggling to stay motivated in school. These are students who do not like school, struggle to complete homework, procrastinate often, have slipping grades, are bored, say they “don’t care about school,” avoid school work, get in trouble, are disorganized and/or feel disconnected from classroom learning.

This webinar will focus on strategies parents and educators can use to increase student motivation to succeed in school. Strategies will address the causes of low motivation, learning difficulties, improving the homework process, improving organization, and reducing procrastination.


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Spotting Tourette in the Classroom, Part 2: So what’s a teacher to do?

Spotting Tourettes in the Classroom

Everyone remembers that kid in class who made weird noises to annoy the teacher. But what about those instances where the noises aren’t meant to drive the teacher crazy? Is it possible a student might be dealing with Tourette Syndrome? How do you know if it’s a Tic Disorder, Tourette, or just another attempt to annoy everyone around him? Today we’re going to discuss what teachers can do properly when they encounter Tourette in the classroom.

Once a teacher realizes the child has symptoms that match a tic disorder or Tourette, there are basic accommodations that can be made in the classroom. Some of these can be best made with IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) or in basic, quiet changes only known by the teacher and student. Here are a few good tips I’ve found:

From Northern Illinois University College of Education

  • Have a duplicate set of text books for the child to keep at home. This can help students who might have missed details of the text because of the ticcing. Just think, if your head is constantly jerking or your eyes are constantly blinking, it can be quite distracting in the classroom. You might need to go over the material again later.
  • Use a seating chart to allow for any movement tics. This is especially helpful if the child has a tic like jumping or jerking, something where she needs to move, and it will lessen the distraction to other students.

From the Newtown PAC Family Resource Center by Susan Conners, M.Ed., Education Specialist, TSA, Inc.

  • Give the child frequent breaks out of the classroom to release tics in a less embarrassing environment, e.g. the bathroom, the drinking fountain, a real or made up errand to run. It’s important to have a safe place where the student can go to release his tics, somewhere where he won’t feel embarrassed to let out the extra energy burning up inside of him.
  • Do not penalize students for poor handwriting. Provide alternatives for doing tests, assignments, etc. (orally, taped). It can be difficult to write well when your hand is constantly moving on its own accord. This is an accommodation that might be best discussed in an IEP meeting (a meeting between the teacher, any school staff involved in this part of the student’s education, such as school psychologist, counselor, principal, and resource teacher, and the parents). Continue reading

52 Weeks of TS: Week 18

EDITOR’S NOTE: Every Tuesday, noted Tourette Syndrome advocate Troye Evers shares his “52 Weeks of TS” blog journal with the TSParentsOnline community. In cased you missed the first 17 weeks, you can read them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.

This was an intensely emotional week — a week of ups and downs. I started my week off receiving the horrible news that a close friend lost his internal battle with depression and took his life. A very happily seeming person, gone. I am finding it very difficult to write about this now without crying.

Besides spending all week very upset and dealing with the stages of death, I have also been trying to figure out if and how I was going to discuss this in the blog. I came to the conclusion that I was going to discuss it because it was a big part of my week. This situation brought on a roller-coaster of emotions, which then did trigger many of my tics. The stress was quite overwhelming and really exacerbated my neck and shoulder tics causing me pain all week.

Besides dealing with the death of a friend, I also had to do hair for a show with my husband’s school. Working on these shows also adds for a stressful week, but In addition to the mixed emotions I already had, I was quite excited for this show. It was the last show of the school year, which will free up a lot of my time now that it is over. I do five shows a year with the school, and each show is a hard experience for me.

I had an alright experience in high school, but dealt with a lot of difficulty because of my TS. There was constant teasing and mocking, which did not allow for the perfect high school experience. Every time I do one of these shows, I feel like I’m flashing back to my own high school days. I still suppress my tics from the kids, and often find myself hiding the fact that I have TS.

Children are cruel and I saw that this week. I also get self-conscious around the parents of all the kids. I still suppress my tics, and worry that the parents will see me tic. What would they think if they knew someone with TS was working with their children? Would they think that I’m sitting back stage screaming out profanities? We all know it’s true. Some might understand, but a majority would go to the media stereotype.

I’m only one person, and I can’t educate everyone, but I was able to conquer my fears and help someone out.

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