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Information for Education Professionals

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is not a learning disability but some of the symptoms and co-occurring conditions can have a substantial impact on a students ability to learn. It is important that students with TS are properly supported to help them reach their full potential.

How can 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 student may experience intrusive thoughts as part of their OCD which can affect their attention and mental health
  • Students 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.
 
How we can help

Advice and support service

What can we provide?

  • FREE eLearning Training Module suitable for Education Professionals - In this module, you will learn what Tourette Syndrome is, co-occurring features and differences that accompany it, how it affects an individual and what can be done to help and understand. 
  • Bespoke Training for education professionals via video conferencing at a cost of £200. This would be suitable for use at staff meetings or as part of your INSET days. Our aim is to provide you with understanding and management strategies so that you can best support your students with TS. CPD Training certificates provided on request.
  • Free resources for spreading awareness of TS to students within an educational setting. We can provide presentations, leaflets, balloons and a children’s quiz that can be used for anything from a class talk, to an assembly or even as part of a neurodiversity event.
  • A letter template to send out to parents and carers to raise awareness about TS, (including challenging tics such as coprolalia), and encourage understanding and constructive dialogue between students and their care-givers.
  • Annual webinars and workshops for education professionals to gain further awareness of TS.
  • Please see downloads below and links in the right hand column.

 

Presentations

  • Presentation for Primary School children - explains about Tourette Syndrome and can be used to raise awareness both at home and in school - download the presentation here
  • Presentation for Secondary School children - explains about TS and is a good tool to help educate older children and raise awareness - download the presentation here
  • Once Upon A Tic - a creative presentation to inform education and healthcare practitioners about some of the difficulties children have during the transition to secondary education, and in gaining a sense of safety with their tics amongst both peers and teaching staff.

 

Resources

  • Lesson plan and quiz for KS 1-4 - download our lesson plan and quiz sheet for each key stage to use in a classroom environment to educate pupils about TS.
  • TS Social Story - a learning tool to help support the exchange of information between children with TS and their teachers, friends and others in social situations (see right-hand side for download)
  • Executive Functioning difficulties - Looking all the different executive functions, it is easy to understand why executive functioning difficulties impact on progress for children in school, especially for those living with TS. Read our factsheet (right-hand side) explaining the impact of executive functioning and TS.
  • Sudden onset of tics - a factsheet (right-hand side) for teachers, addressing the sudden onset of tics in some students and how to manage these in an educational environment.
  • Video Resources - Specialist teacher Katie Skinner presents a series of videos with advice and strategies for children, parents and teachers, click here to access the videos.
  • Key Facts for Teachers – this leaflet (right-hand side) gives an overview of TS and how it can affect learning, and outlines management strategies for the classroom.
  • School Passport - Our School passport is a support aid for students which contains information about their TS symptoms. Contact our Helpdesk for your free passport.
  • Resources library - Click here for information sheets, printable and online articles plus book recommendations relating to school topics and TS.
  • What Makes Us Tic – general introduction to TS (right-hand side).
  • Coprolalia: Letter to parents/carers - quite often this is one of the most difficult tics to explain to students and parents/carers. Our supporting letter tackles this issue in a sensitive way and can be printed off and used to help educate about TS (right hand side).

Top tips

  • Short, simple and clear instructions
  • Time. Be patient and give the child time to focus and produce
  • Movement is key to students learning. Don’t insist on sitting at a table with a pen for the whole task. Make it as interactive as possible
  • Breaks need to be frequent
  • Understand that short bursts of work may be the key to success
  • Handwriting is not a sign of intelligence. If it’s not a handwriting or spelling assessment then scribe for the student to let their creativity flow
  • Provide an area for time out where students can feel comfortable to go if things get too much
  • Allow tics and don’t tell off. And don’t expect the student to be able to concentrate on what you are saying whilst they are ticcing
  • Never punish a student for not completing work and never make them stay behind to finish work especially not to let them miss their break time
  • Support student in explaining tics to peers so they fully understand that they too are ‘normal’

 

For more information about how we can support you and what resources we have to offer then please contact our Helpdesk for further information.

 


Be recognised as a TS Friendly school, employer or organisation!

Once you’ve completed your TS training with our team you can now join our growing community of TS Friendly schools, workplaces and organisations! This has been created so we can highlight and celebrate organisations who are Tourette’s-aware.

 

What does it mean to be part of our Tourette’s Friendly Scheme?

Organisations who are part of the Tourette’s Friendly Schemes will:

  • Engage in an awareness and training session specific to their organisation
  • Be provided with our Tourette’s Friendly e-badge to display on their website and social media pages
  • Have their logo and short bio on our website to highlight that they are part of the scheme

As a charity we are working extremely hard to increase accessibility and ultimately to break down the stigma that surrounds Tourette’s.  We feel that by creating a Tourette’s Friendly scheme and showcasing this on a dedicated area on our website, it will enable our service users and their families to quickly identify schools, employers and organisations that are well equipped to meet their needs. It will also enable organisations to show that they are promoting a fully inclusive environment.

Contact us at Campaigns@tourettes-action.org.uk for more information.

 

Events

Wednesday 29 May 19:00

Adults with TS Support group, Online 7pm - 8pm

Thursday 30 May 10:00

Parent/Caregiver Online Coffee Morning, Online 10am - 11am

Friday 31 May 10:00

Q&A Drop-in session, Online 10am - 11am

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