Tourettes Action
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what is to be expected of the school to accomodate a child with tics?

my son is 13 and at grammar school but has missed so much school since the start of September. If he can he goes in for a while but the effort involved in controlling the tics and sitting in a classroom seems to be too much for him at the moment. the school are beginining to lose patience and they have no previous experience of this. Can I ask for reduced classes permanently or have a tutor assigned to him? Any advice is welcome......

6 Replies

Hi There

This is a really tricky question and to answer more fully if you contact us on the helpline I will try and understand more what you need. However, as a rule talking to staff about TS is helpful and talking to them with your son perhaps you negotiate a better regime for him. Under various legislation and particularly the disability discrimination they need to make reasonable adjustments for him. There is a useful presentation on the Tourettes Action website www. and some leaflets for teachers that you can also download. It might be possible to visit school and offer some training but we would need to discuss this. It is VERY unlikely that you will be provided with a tutor, or at least for not more than a few hours. Do get in touch and we can have a chat.



My son is 14 (yr 10) & his tics were really bad at the start of year 9, not helped by a sudden onset of OCD.

His school has an inclusion officer who we found to be very sympathetic and helpful. He was being teased at the time and she put a stop to it very quickly. He is now supressing the tics less now which enables him to just get on with his day.

The school also operates a 'green card' system for anyone with any kind of medical problem, chronic or acute, that means that they might have to leave the classroom quickly. My son was given a green card & the idea is that he holds the card up when the tics get too much & he can just leave the classroom without the embarrassment of having to ask the teacher. He hasn't actually use it much, but the knowledge that he has it takes away a good deal of the anxiety which would then exacerbate his tics.

Also, you could consider seating arrangements - front and centre would be worst for my son - the thought that everyone was looking at him would increase his anxiety and inevitably make the tics worse.

The leaflets Suz13 mentions are very good, the teachers found them very helpful (at least they said they did!)

best of luck.


Link to the TA presentations: primary / secondary and adult

Link to the leaflet - Key Facts for Teachers and other leaflets too

Have you considered coming along to a support group too. I am sure it may help to talk to other parents and for your son to meet other young people with TS, to compare notes and share suggestions etc. This might also help your son to understand his TS more and

may help improve his self confidence and self esteem with regards to his Tics and hopefully this could have a knock on effect in school? Please email me to find out more about support groups Best wishes to you and your family. Julie


Just for useful info but special arrangements for exams. It is Important to note that usually the student will have been working with these special arrangements throughout the term


Here is an article which found that a brief psychoeducational intervention enhances knowledge and attitudes of classmates towards children with TS, and improves how children with TS feel about the condition.

Nussey, C., Pistrang, N. and Murphy, T. (2012), Does it help to talk about tics? An evaluation of a classroom presentation about Tourette syndrome. Child and Adolescent Mental Health. doi: 10.1111/camh.12000

Tourettes Action has put together three presentations that can be used in schools, workplaces, clubs, or any place where people might benefit from a greater understanding of Tourette Syndrome.

Best wishes



Hello. I'm korie and I'm about to turn15, I just graduated from middle school and I also suffer from a quite severe case of Tourette's. My mom decided to home school me for middle school just because I was made fun of etc. in primary school. I have motor, and verbal tics. Teachers would scold me for making "rude noises" even though they were aware of the fact that I had Tourette's. I was recently prescribed a blood pressure drug and that seems to be helping my motor tics a bit and I'm also on a gluten free diet which has made a difference. If neither of these things work, I know some schools have a "home schooling" type program where the student stays home but a tutor will bring work from the school to your home and work with the student for about 10 hours a week.


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