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Tourette Syndrome

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Krissy Snifeld

on 12 February 2014

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Transcript of Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome
Background Information
Instructional Strategies
Behavioral Strategies
Students with Tourette Syndrome may suffer from a variety of behavioral problems. Here you will find an array of suggestions Educational Assistants can implement in the classroom.
Assistive Technology
Recommended Reading List
Professional Development for TS
Available in The Area:
What is Tourette Syndrome?
It is a neurological disorder
Characterized by involuntary motor and vocal tics
Affects the body and the brain
Studies show is has genetic characteristics; it is not contagious
Symptoms usually start showing before the age of 18
As if yet, there is no cure but medication can help
Abram, H. (2010). Teen Health: Tourette Syndrome. Retrived from http://kidshealth.org/teen/diseases_conditions/brain_nervous/tourette.html#
Who is Affected by Tourette Syndrome?
There is some genetic evidence but it is complicated
May be caused by an imbalance in the chemicals in the brain
Guys are three times more likely than girls
Girls are more likely to have other conditions such as OCD
1 in every 1000 kids are affected
The definite cause of Tourette Syndrome is presently unknown.
C.Health. (n.d). Condition Factsheets: Tourette Syndrome. Retrieved from http://chealth.canoe.ca/condition_info_details.asp?channel_id=0&relation_id=0&disease_id=230&page_no=1#Facts
Life with Tourette Syndrome
This video follows the story of three adults who have extreme cases of Tourette Syndrome. Although this video is a little longer, it helps give viewers a stronger understanding of Tourette Syndrome.
Kids Speak out About TS
Here is another great video created by HBO. In this video, real kids who have Tourette Syndrome talk about the exceptionality, what it is and what it is like to have it.

This video is very emotional and will give viewers an empathetic view of students with Tourette Syndrome.
"I Have Tourette Syndrome"
Co-occurring Conditions
Simple Tics
Complex Tics
The main symptoms of Tourette Syndrome is motor and vocal tics. These tics can be classified under two different categories: simple tics and complex tics.
Front of the Class
Front of the Class is a book that was later turned into a movie. In the teaching strategies section of this document, Alex Berthelot, the girl in the YouTube video, recommends that all teachers should read the book and watch the movie.
It follows the real story of Brad Cohen and his struggles with growing up with tourette syndrome.
Here is the movie trailer.
Examples of Simple Motor Tics:
Examples of Simple Vocal Tics:
Simple tics are characterized by brief but repetitive movements and sounds that use a limited number of muscle groups.
Eye blinking
Facial grimacing
Shoulder shrugging
Head and shoulder jerking
Eye rolling
Nose twitching
Finger flexing
Muscle tensing
Grunting sounds
NINDS. (2012) Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tourette/detail_tourette.htm#220463231
Complex tics are characterized by movements and sounds that use several muscle groups. Similar to simple tics, complex tics can also be distinguished into two separate groups.
Examples of Motor Tics:
Examples of Vocal Tics:
There are three different types of complex vocal tics.
Coprolalia -
Echolalia -
Palilalia -
Nose touching
People touching
Sniffing objects
Head Banging
Mimicking others
Arm flapping
Leg kicking
Sequential facial movements
Copralalia is the involuntary swearing and shouting of obscene or inappropriate words. Although this characteristic is one of the most commonly known symptom, it only affects 10 to 15 percent of people with Tourette Syndrome.
Echolalia is the repetition of another person's spoken words.
NINDS. (2012) Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tourette/detail_tourette.htm#220463231
Palilalia is the repetitions of ones own words and/or phrases
Similar to other exceptionalities, tourettes syndrome may occur with other conditions, such as:
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Behavioral problems (oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder...etc.)
Developmental delay
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
The following website has additional information regarding co-occuring conditions: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/tourette/otherconcerns.html
The following is a list of accommodations Educational assistants can provide for students with TS:
Additional time for assignments and tests
A private, quiet place for doing tests
Short breaks out of the classroom to relax, and let out suppressed tics
Reduce handwriting tasks and note taking
Try to eliminate things that may trigger tics
Try not to seat the student front and center
Encourage the use of manipulative when working in mathematics
Provide a lot of visual input as well as auditory
Change tasks frequently or have them work in short intense periods with frequent breaks
Allow students to record videos of oral presentations
Conners, S. (2005). Catalogue of Accommodations for Students with Tourette Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Retrieved from http://teacherweb.com/NY/ValleyStream13/howellroadpbis/CatalogOfAccomidations.pdf
Alex Berthelot Gives Educators Advice
This is a personal blog video created by a girl with Tourette Syndrome. In this video she gives educators advice on working with students with TS.
Teaching Students with Tourette Syndrome
The following pages are a pdf created by CEDU on strategies for teacher students with TS.
Start With Your Behavior
In order to change a student's behavior, you need to first change your own behavior.
Be accepting of the student and show you care about them
Understand the symptoms and do not take behaviors personally
Positive reinforcement works better than negative consequences
Be aware of the students' needs
Be available to the student but do not stay attached to them
Show you are "on their side, not on their back"
Meet with the teacher on a regular basis to discuss daily plans
Giordano, K. (n.d). A Guide for Paraprofessionals Working with Students with TS. Retrieved from http://www.tsa-usa.org/Education/guide_for_paraprof.htm
Work for the Student
After you have changed your behavior, you can now work on changing other things for the student.
Educate the other students in the classroom about Tourette Syndrome
Recognize the students strength and weaknesses, and work with them
Allow the student to interact with peers
Talk with the student about things that might be causing them additional stress
Implement a positive and proactive support plan
Never ask the student to try to suppress their tics
Do don't give unnecessary attention to their tics
Treat the student the same as everyone else
Use gestures the student is familiar with as a reminder to get them back on task
Give them frequent breaks
Provide the student with a private, quiet space they can go to if they are stressed
Have patience with the student
Be very vigilant of any students bullying or teasing them
Give the student opportunities throughout the day to burn excess energy (gym, recess, running..etc.)
Use role playing exercises if the student needs additional social skills training.
Wiggle seats
Pencils without erasers
Sound or video recorder
Word Processors and Speech-to-Text software
Audio books and Reader software
Digital organizers
Talking Calculators
Visual Schedules
Pagers and timers
Grammar and spell checkers
Here is a list of a variety of different ATs that can be provided for students with Tourette Syndrome:
Kasper, E. (n.d.). Tourette's Assistive Classroom Technology. Retrieved from http://classroom.synonym.com/tourettes-assistive-classroom-technology-12084.html
Online Resources:
Kenora-Rainy River Districts Child and Family Services
820 Lakeview Drive
Kenora Ontario P9N 3P7
Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada
Understanding Tourette Syndrome:
A Handbook for Educators
This book is a great resource for educators, both teachers and educational assistants, to find a variety of information. This book was published by the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada as a guide for educators who will potentially be working with students with TS.
This book contains everything from an overview of what Tourette Syndrome is, to different strategies educators can use in the classroom.
Teaching the Tiger
Teaching the Tiger is another book written as a handbook/guide for people who may be working with students in the educational setting. Although, the difference between this book and the one written by the TSFC is that this book focuses on Tourette Syndrome, ADHD and OCD.
A Guide for Paraprofessionals
The following link will lead readers to a web page:
This is a great resources for Educational Assistants to read because it contains information specifically for Paraprofessionals. Although the page is small, it does provide readers with a variety of strategies, advice and suggestions for Educational Assistants working with students with Tourette Syndrome.

Above is a screenshot of what the web page should look like
National Tourette Syndrome Association
Full transcript