Tourette's Syndrome


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Tourette's Syndrome

  1. 1. What is Tourette’s? Simply stated, it is a mixed vocal and motor tic disorder (Kutscher, 2005, p. 148) The following criteria must be met: 1. A combination of at least one vocal and two motor tics 2. Symptoms have lasted at least one year 3. Symptoms must appear before age 18 (Kutscher, 2005, p. 148)
  2. 2. What are tics? According to Dr. Martin Kutscher, “Tics are rapid, repetitive actions that just happen to the child. They occur without any prolonged forethought by the person. Typically, tics tend to come and go, and change from one to another over time” (2005, p. 147).
  3. 3. Types of Tics (Kutscher, 2005, p. 147-48) Motor tics: Involve movements Simple: Involve singular muscle movements Examples: eye blinks, eye rolling, neck thrusts Complex: Involve muscle movements with multiple muscle groups Examples: body twisting or hopping Vocal tics: Involve noises Examples: throat clearing, echoing what was said, coprolalia (involuntary shouting of obscenities)
  4. 4. More About Tics According to Kutscher, tics are variable. They come and go inconsistently and may reappear as new tics each time. Children can also temporarily suppress tics subconsciously, like during a school performance, but it is useless to try and ask them to try to suppress their tics knowingly (2005, p. 150).
  5. 5. Tourette’s in Childhood Tics are often less severe in adolescence and adulthood (Murray, 1997, p. 617). Tourette’s also frequently occurs concurrent with other disorders, such as ADD (Murray, 1997, p. 616).
  6. 6. What can we do? Kutscher suggests a few things that teachers can do to help students with Tourette’s (2005, p. 152-53). 1. Educate other students by holding an open discussion about Tourette’s and tics. 2. Allow the student to leave the room if tics become too overwhelming. 3. Offer extra time to complete work, and offer alternative methods of testing for students who struggle with tics which affect reading and writing.
  7. 7. What can we do? (cont.) 4. Provide extra supervision to help prevent bullying at recess or lunch hour. 5. Allow the student to sit where they do not feel on display. They may prefer to sit near the back so tics are not noticed by an entire class. 6. Teachers should model acceptance of tics so students will follow suit, and never as a student to leave the room because of their tics. (Kutscher, 2005, p. 152-53)
  8. 8. Educating Students When dealing with student peers, I think that education on the disorder is one of the most important steps in adapting to students with Tourette’s. If a student is too affected by the perception of those around them, they will not be as successful in class. In a study carried out by Woods, Koch, and Miltenberger, it was discovered that individuals who had received education about Tourette’s and tics were more positive and accepting of individuals with Tourette’s (2003).
  9. 9. Kutscher, M. L. (2005) Kids in the Syndrome Mix of ADHD, LD, Asperger’s Tourette’s Bipolar, and More! Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Murray, J. B. (1997). Psychological Aspects of Tourette’s Syndrome. Journal Of Psychology, 131(6), 615- 626. Woods, D. W., Koch, M., & Miltenberger, R. G. (2003). The Impact of Tic Severity on the Effects of Peer Education About Tourette’s Syndrome. Journal Of Developmental & Physical Disabilities, 15(1), 67-78. References