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Friday, February 10, 2006

Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by repeated, involuntary body movements or tics, such as blinking and twitching and vocal sounds such as throat clearing or sniffing, is more common among school age children than most educators believe, with approximately one percent of school boys and fewer girls affected.

Affected students can be disruptive in the classroom, but educators can take these steps to assist the students and their classmates:

* show tolerance to the affected student – the tics are involuntary
* provide opportunites for breaks out of the classroom – time in a private place can help the affected student relax and reduce the symptoms in class
* allow the affected student to take tests in a private room, so energy will not be expended suppressing tics during a quiet time
* if tics are disruptive, consider eliminating recitation in front of the class
* work with other students to help them understand the tics and reduce ridicule and teasing. School counselors and psychologists can provide information for students and staff