Georges Gilles de la Tourette Tourette’s Syndrome: Overcoming the Myths
An informational presentation designed to raise awareness in the educational community about Tourette Syndrome. The artwork used in this presentation are actual drawings and descriptions created by children with Tourette Syndrome. Designed by Paul Biron For Lynn Siegel
What we think we know about Tourette’s 1. A student with Tourette’s Syndrome will make obvious and disfiguring physical movements. 2. A student with Tourette’s Syndrome will shout obscenities. 3. A student with Tourette’s Syndrome will have tics that are uncontrollable and disruptive. 4. A student with Tourette’s Syndrome will have serious psychological and behavioral problems .
Some of the Myths and Fallacies About Tourette’s Syndrome (TS) Fallacy #1: Tourette Syndome is rare. Fallacy #2: Shouting obscenities is a defining characteristic. Fallacy #3: Patients are easily recognized by their tics. Fallacy #4: Primary presenting complaint is always tics. Fallacy #5: Diagnosis is catastrophic for most patients.
Meaningless Changes in Pitch, Emphasis, or Volume of Speech
Palilalia (repeating one’s own sounds or words)
Echolalia (repeating the last-heard sound, word, or phrase)
Coprolalia (inappropriate expression of a socially unacceptable word or obscenity)
Click here to listen to presentation by Susan Conners, TSA Education Specialist
Susan Conners, M.Ed., Education Specialist, Tourette Syndrome Association
Comordid Conditions that Complicate the Management of Tourette Syndrome
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors or Disorder (OCD)
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
Mood and Sleep disorders
Dispelling Some of the Fallacies About Tourette’s Syndrome Fallacy #1: Tourette Syndome is rare. Fact: Tourette’s occurs in about 1% of child population. Fallacy #2: Shouting obscenities is a defining characteristic. Fact: Relatively few TS patients yell obscenities (Caprolalia). Fallacy #3: Patients are easily recognized by their tics. Fact: Tics can be suppressed.
Fallacy #4: Primary presenting complaint is always tics. Fact: Presenting complaint is often complications from a comorbid condition ( i.e. ADHD, OCD, LD, ODD). Fallacy #5: Diagnosis is catastrophic for most patients. Fact: Diagnosis for most patients is a relief and the understanding it brings after a prolonged period of uncertainty.
Create and sustain a positive, accepting attitude in the classroom.
Foster a sense of competence and accomplishment.
Preferential seating for close teacher attention (take types of tics into consideration of placement).
Consider testing privately and waive time limits.
5. The use of a computer or word processor (alternatives to hand writing). 6. Frequent breaks out of the classroom to release tics. 7. Assignments broken into more manageable pieces. 8. Use of a daily assignment sheet verified by teacher. 9. Mandatory in-service for all teachers and staff working with child.
10. Allow opportunities for physical movement throughout day school day. 11. Lower classroom stress levels as much as possible. 12. Establish a moderately structured learning environment. 13. Work on socialization skills with child. 14. Caution should be used in interpreting I.Q. scores as estimates of cognitive potential. Click here to listen to interview with a 16 year-old with Tourette Syndrome.
Excerpt from interview with Kevin, a 16 year-old with Tourette Syndrome
The Most Important Factor: Parental Involvement in the Educational Process
Open lines of communication between school and home (parents)
Frequent calls, letters, and daily notes to parents about child’s progress
Educate yourself about Tourette’s Syndrome and its related components