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Information about TS for people working in education

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is not a learning disability but some of the symptoms and co-morbidities can have a substantial impact on a child's ability to learn. It is important that children with TS are properly supported to ensure they achieve to their maximum ability at school.

Tourettes Action knows that many teachers, special education co-ordinators and other education professionals have little experience of the condition and have had no training in how to support somebody with Tourette Syndrome (TS). That is why we have put together a range of information and resources to enable you to support your pupils, parents and colleagues.

What is TS?

TS is a neurological condition, the key features are tics - involuntary sounds and movements. TS is a complex condition and covers a wide spectrum of symptoms, up to 85% of the TS population experience co-occurring conditions including ADHD, anxiety and OCD.

You can find more information in our About TS section, or download our ‘What makes us tic?’ booklet, which explains more about the condition.

How does TS affect learning?

  • Approximately 1% of school children have TS (the same prevelance as Autism). Many of those children will try to suppress their tics at school.  This takes a lot of effort and concentration which can compromise attention and ability to focus on school work. 
  • Certain tics can be disruptive and distracting. It's important to note that tics are not always visible, for example people can experience internal tics such as stomach clenching, and thought tics.
  • Co-occurring conditions can affect learning, for example a child may experience intrusive thoughts as part of their OCD which can affect their attention and mental health
  • Children tend to tic more at home - this can affect their ability to concentrate on and complete homework.  Sleep issues can be a problem for people with TS which will affect overall functioning.

Information and Resources

Advice and advocacy service

We provide training for schools, either in-house or via video conferencing.  Our aim is to provide you with understanding and management strategies so that you can best support your pupils with TS. 

If the situation requires it, we can be involved in organised meetings specific to a pupil with TS, where further understanding and support is required.  

Please contact our Education Manager, Lucy for further information

Support for people with TS

TA offers a range of services for people with TS, including identity cards, school passports, small grants and social events. 

Find out more in our support for people with TS section.

"In assembly, one of the teachers told me to stop flicking my shoe. When I looked at him, my eyes rolled up in a tic. He kept me in at break for being rude, I was too embarassed to tell him it was a tic"

 
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