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Battling Schools? How to help them understand Tourettes

Posted by Kay Mawson on March 23, 2015 at 5:55 AM

If you're anything like me, then by now, you will have developed a career in 'Battling Schools'.  If you are like me, you will be continuously let down, angered and dumbfounded by the way professionals voice their opinions without any sound evidence to make claims.

I; as a parent, and much like yourselves, have had to learn it for myself.  I have had to research, read, buy books, talk to others to learn all about my sons issues.  I have been faced with teachers comments about how my son picks and chooses to have his tics as if they're not real. 

Here's the analogy I use:

Picture yourself at a wedding.  Right in the middle of the ceremony, you have an itchy foot.  This itch gets so bad that you start to feel uncomfortable. 

However, It is not appropriate for you to take off your shoe and sock and start scratching your foot i.e. embarassed to do this behaviour, so what do you do?  How do you feel?  Does your concentration drift away from the ceremony?  Does the sense of the build up of this itch become worse?  Have you even noticed he kissed the bride? 

Suddendly the wedding it over and there's an opportunity to nip to a side room or toilet.  Do you then scratch your foot gently as you would've done in the wedding or do you end up scratching twice as hard and for longer?

Hopefully, you now understand where Im going with this.  With Tourettes Syndrome, the person can hold off having a tic as embarassment, timing and attention would cause a situation shall we say.  The more the person holds off, the more uncomfortable the urge becomes and this can also cause pain.  My son will often complain about such pain.  When the person can get to a place of 'safety' and feel secure, they can release the tics but these tend to be in the form of a cluster.  All the missed tics add up and still need releasing but its explosive.  Ive read that some parents are told by teachers theres nothing wrong with their child as their child holds off all day long, only to return home and explode.

We've had a teacher in school who has hounded the life out of us over the past four years with his opinions and judgements about what 'he thinks' is happening.  To hear his mythical take on it is offensive and angers me.  Why do none of these teachers just Google the condition and spend 5 minutes reading?  If this was done, the teachers would see that tics arent the only problem Tourettes Syndrome brings.

I hope that this post has help someone out there to have a better understanding or a way to advise the school.

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