Support in school
School children with Tourette Syndrome (TS) have the same IQ range as the population at large, but difficulties associated with TS may present additional challenges at school. Depending on how your child's TS affects them a range of support can be implemented to ensure they get the help they need.
Steps to take following a diagnosis
Supporting your child through their education needs to be approached as a working partnership between the family and school. The following is a brief outline of the steps you should take when talking to the school following a diagnosis of TS:
- Organise a meeting with the school to discuss how TS affects your child
- Find out if the school have prior experience of teaching children with TS.
- Provide information to the school from TA to help inform the teaching staff about the condition
- Outline what action the school intend to take to support your child? See ‘stages of support’ in our booklet - advice for parents.
- Discuss the possibility of informing the rest of the class/school about TS to help reduce any misunderstanding, unwanted attention or bullying.
- Remember to discuss support needs around TS and any related conditions, such as OCD, Anxiety etc.
- Share information about strategies you have found helpful at home
- If your child is on medication, explain the possible side effects and inform the school of any changes to medication
- Stay in communication with the school and meet with your child's class teacher and/or SENCO on a regular basis, keeping records of discussions about your child's progress.
- Discuss ways for your child to manage their tics during the school day, i.e. having a private place to go and release their tics if they need to
Education and TS - advice for parents booklet
You will find more comprehensive information and advice for parents/carers in our booklet Education and TS - advice for parents that you can download. It contains information including:
- Detailed Steps to take following a diagnosis
- The different stages of support
- Useful organisations and resources
Tourettes Action: support for TS in school
This simple yet effective exercise powerfully demonstrates how tics can impact on a child's concentraton and ability to complete a task under time constraints
TA has a range of resources for families and teachers with advice on supporting children with TS in school:
- Key facts for teachers leaflet - an easy-to-read leaflet that outlines the main facts that all teachers need to know when supporting a child with TS
- Power point presentations that can be used in primary and secondary schools to provide greater understanding of TS
- What Makes Us Tic leaflet – an introduction to TS
- Tourette Syndrome Passport - developed as a result of the big lottery funded research at the University of Nottingham. Contact Pippa for your free passport.
- Research article looking at environmental effects on TS - specifically tic suppression in the classroom
- Recent media articles about education articles
- We can consider on a case by case basis, offering more personal support to families and schools who are experiencing challenges. Please contact our helpdesk to speak to us about this service.
Support for young people with TS in Higher and Further Education
Read our factsheets with advice for young people with TS in higher and further education: