Reply To: Tourettes – physical tics

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Nat JNat J

    Thanks for the reply, Andrea – I appreciate your take on our approach, as it’s not a condition that, as a school, we have huge amounts of experience with.
    We have some students who are the focus of multiple verbal tics every the day, which can include comments about weight, hair colour, family members, ugliness, sexuality and race, including some highly offensive language. We have found that these students can feel like they are victims, even though they are aware of the condition and empathise with the student. To clarify, we make clear to all parties that there is no person as a perpertrator – that the offending tic can neither be controlled nor punished – but there is still someone ‘on the recieving end’ of the tic that we need to check in with emotionally. We talk at length to the YP with TS to establish what is causing the trigger around that student and what we can do to try to alleviate or minimise that trigger, as well as how the other student is feeling currently and why we might need to take actions like allowing the YP with TS to leave lessons early, to try to avoid repeat occurences. This works well with the student in our care and he responds positively to this; I suppose it depends on the nature of the individual. We know the YP well and, if the conversations we were having had a detrimental impact on the YP, we would adapt our response. They are conversations, not lectures, and we have always found that they have a positive impact and have reduced future incidents. It’s worth saying, also, that we’re in regular contact with Tourettes Action who have advised us to respond in the way that we do and parents are in full support also.