Starting a new school with a Tic Disorder - Mothering Forums

 
Thread Tools
#1 of 5 Old 07-21-2009, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
glorio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 112
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My ds is 6- dx'd with an anxiety disorder and chronic tics. I think it is Tourettes but we do not yet have this dx. Sleep issues like crazy and I suspect ADHD.

I wanted to have him seen by a cognitive behavioral therapist and also by the movement disorder clinic, but the therapist our developmental pedi wants him to see isn't taking new patients right now (waiting list) and the appointment for the movement disorder clinic is AFTER school starts.

In Kingergarten his tics weren't as noticeable- eye blinking and touching his fingers to his mouth. Now he has a spitting tic and a head jerking tic. They really surfaced this summer. It's pretty severe, causes him physical pain, and looks seizure-ish.

He's starting a new school and I want to talk to someone about ways to ease his transition and also inform his classmates. I wanted to give a brief presentation to his class, or have his teacher do it, as ds would not yet feel comfortable doing this himself, on what tics are and maybe even famous people who have tics/ts. I want to explain it's caused by the brain, ds can't help it, share some of ds's interests and somehow build support for him. My ex thinks this is like putting a target on ds's back. But, kids are going to notice this anyways, wouldn't it be best if they knew what was going on (ds isn't always great at verbalizing what's going on with the tics.)?

I also want to have our developmental pedi to fax info about this to ds's school so discipline won't be an issue- thinking of the spitting tic- working with ds to spit into a tissue (he's currently spitting in his hands over and over.) But not punishing him for his tics.

Any other advice, ideas, comments? I could use them!
glorio is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 5 Old 07-21-2009, 11:28 PM
 
Momily's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When working with young kids who have a classmate with a tic disorder, or certain kids of "stimmy" behavior. I usually use the analogy of a sneeze. I tell the kids that sometimes you have the urge to sneeze, and while you may be able to hold it back long enough to turn away or to cover your nose, you can't really stop it. The kids really get that they can't be mad at someone for ticcing, that that would be just as ridiculous as being mad at them when they sneeze. They also get that the fact that the child with the tic is "allowed" to do things they aren't, just like a child with allergies might be "allowed" to make noise by sneezing when they aren't allowed to make other kinds of noises (e.g. you can sneeze on a fire drill and noone minds, if you made a similar amount of noise by talking to someone you'd be in hot water).

Good luck!
Momily is offline  
#3 of 5 Old 07-22-2009, 02:22 AM
 
storychick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 679
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The Tourette Syndrome Association website has great materials to download/purchase that can help with your discussion. I haven't yet felt the need to go in and educate my son's classmates (he'll be in 3rd next year -- so far he's not had any real social impact from his tics just a few "why do you do that?" questions -- and definite social issues from his behavior problems from the ADHD/mood disorder) but I gave a lot of the materials I found to the teacher so that she would be able to address things as they came up and also for her own knowledge. In the end we they weren't necessary as DS's meds keep the tics subtle.

We are switching schools this year as well and I appreciate the reminder that I will need to give the packet to the teacher this year (DS had the same teacher for 2 years in a row previously) and the principal as well. I hope to meet with the principal ahead of the school year starting and hopefully the teacher as well, so that they are prepared for the discipline issues coming. lol Gonna be talking with them all year, may as well start out on a positive note by being proactive.

Anyway, I'd suggest talking to the principal as a start, maybe the school psych. They can help you figure out the best ways to deal with it or at least get you prepared for how much fighting you might have to do to get accomodations etc. We found that the school was totally unsympathetic to DSs behavioral issues until we had a formal dx, then once they had reports in hand they were more willing to work with us, though they still deny him an IEP (we got a 504 instead -- DS gets more time on tests if he needs them as being ticcy slows his processing speed, can go to the bathroom or the office when he needs to to take a break and tic in private, some other stuff relating to the ADHD.) Foster a good relationship with the teacher, that was huge for us the last few years and I know that knowing she could talk to me openly about the issues and that I wasn't a "not my precious" kind of parent helped a lot.

Good luck!
storychick is offline  
 
#4 of 5 Old 07-22-2009, 03:08 AM
 
Theoretica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Inside my head (it's quiet here!)
Posts: 3,651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
http://www.tsa-usa.org/Publications/..._darn_tic.html

Definitely consider getting this (free) magazine! It's a fantastic resource that my son has gotten for years. He really appreciates seeing stories from other kids with the same problem, his tics vary in intensity but they can be disruptive.

Also there's a great HBO special that you can rent about Tourette's, very informative and educational, highly recommended for teachers and classmates of Ticcing kiddos

HTH mama, good luck!!!

GOOD moms let their kids lick the beaters. GREAT moms turn off the mixer first!
Humanist Woman Wife , & Friend Plus Mama to 6 (3 mos, 2, 9, 13, 17, 20)
Theoretica is offline  
#5 of 5 Old 07-22-2009, 12:01 PM
 
Magella's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,442
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by glorio View Post
He's starting a new school and I want to talk to someone about ways to ease his transition and also inform his classmates. I wanted to give a brief presentation to his class, or have his teacher do it, as ds would not yet feel comfortable doing this himself, on what tics are and maybe even famous people who have tics/ts. I want to explain it's caused by the brain, ds can't help it, share some of ds's interests and somehow build support for him. My ex thinks this is like putting a target on ds's back. But, kids are going to notice this anyways, wouldn't it be best if they knew what was going on (ds isn't always great at verbalizing what's going on with the tics.)?
I think a presentation to the class is a great idea. My dd, with Tourette's, just finished 3rd grade and we found that making a presentation to the class (which she did herself, because she wanted to) actually really helped. Instead of "making her a target," it helped kids understand--and many kids thought that either they have tics themselves, or know other people with tics. It was a great experience for her, very positive! Educating people really helps.

Here is a link to a TSA-Massachusetts resource page, which has links to sample letters (to teachers and principals) and a sample presentation for grades K-4. I found these very helpful when writing letters to teachers "introducing" my dd, when writing to her teacher to request permission for a presentation to the class, and when helping dd gather information for putting together her presentation.

As someone else mentioned, the national TSA website also has some great materials to help in educating classmates, teachers, and family members. As the pp mentioned, kids really get it when you compare it to a sneeze or hiccups.
Magella is offline  
Reply


User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 16,259

31 members and 16,228 guests
Ana Anka , anisaer , Dakotacakes , Deborah , girlspn , greenemami , hammadsmom , hillymum , IsaFrench , JElaineB , Jessica765 , Katherine73 , lisak1234 , mamaof3kids , manyhatsmom , Maria Arroyo , Michele123 , Mirzam , moominmamma , RollerCoasterMama , rosieQ , sciencemum , shantimama , Sonja416 , Springshowers , thefragile7393 , transylvania_mom , Xerxella , zoeyzoo
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.