When it comes to different disabilities, a teacher must be informed of the different types of disabilities a child may have. One disability that affects younger children is Tourette Syndrome. This disability disorder is named for Dr. Georges Gilles de la Tourette, the pioneering French neurologist who in 1885 first described the condition in an 86-year-old French noblewoman (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke). Tourette Syndrome affects between 100,000 and 200,000 people in the United States each year. One Million Americans have very mild symptoms of TS (Chudler). Although this disorder is not life-threatening, it must be understood in order to be treated.

Tourette Syndrome is defined as “neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. There are two forms of tics: motor and vocal. Motor tics are involuntary movements that most often involve the face and neck muscles, while vocal tics are everything from a simple clearing of the throat, sniffing noises, grunting or barking to the verbalization of words and nonsensical sound (Chudler). They are then classified into simple and complex tics. Only fifteen percent of TS people have outbursts with obscene language. Symptoms begin before age eighteen and are often noticed in the early years, around age seven. The first symptoms are usually facial tics. These symptoms are able to be controlled only sometime and often decrease in severity after puberty (Chudler).
There are many different types of Tourette Syndromes so there are many different symptoms. Some symptoms of Tourette Syndrome for simple motor tics are brief, repetitive movements that involve a limited number of muscle groups. Some examples of these are eye blinking or sudden jerking of the shoulders or head. Simple vocalizations may cause repetitive throat clearing or grunting sounds. Another type of TS is complex tic which are “coordinated patterns of movements involving several muscle groups.” This might include facial expressions combined with a shoulder shrug. There are also some complex motor tics that can appear purposeful like jumping, bending, and twisting. Simple vocal tics include things like barking, grunting, or snorting. More complex vocal tics include words or phrases. The most dramatic tics include motor movement that result in harm such as punching themselves in the face. Tics often get worse with a person is excited or under a lot of stress. Also, some physical experiences can trigger or worsen tics. For example if a child with tics hears another person clear their throat it may trigger similar sounds (National).
Tourette Syndrome does not have a cure but it does have ways to treat it. Most people with TS do not require medications because their TS does not interefere with their functioning. However, for people that the tics are interfering with their functioning, doctors do offer medicine. “Neuroleptics are the most consistently useful medications for tic suppression; a number are available but some are more effective than others (for example, haloperidol and pimozide).” The problem with TS is that there is not just one medication that is helpful for all people with TS or will the medicine eliminate the symptoms. Also, all medications have side effects. The most common side effect with neuroleptics include weight gain and cognitive dulling. The risk of this side effect can be reduced by using lower doses of neuroleptics for shorter periods of time. Psychotherapy may also be helpful. Psychological problems do not cause TS but many of these problems may result from TS. Psychotherapy may help a person with TS cope with the disorder better (National). Although they have not found a way to eliminate tics, there is still research being done all the time.
As a teacher we need to be aware of what is going on with our students. A child might have TS and we need to be aware of what is happening. If a child is getting up in class and jumping we cannot yell at them and tell them they have to get back into their seat. TS students need a tolerant and compassionate classroom and as teachers we need to make sure they get that.

Works Cited’s Notes

Brittany's Web Page:
1. Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet

· It is a neurological disorder distinguish by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements.
· Also Called tics
· 1885 first described the condition in an 86-year-old French noblewoman
· Many symptoms are noticed in childhood
· Brief repetitive movement like eye blinking and other vision irregularities, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging, and head or shoulder jerking
· Complex motor tics can involve saying phrases or words
· Cause is unknown
· diagnosis that doctors make after verifying that the patient has had both motor and vocal tics for at least 1 year
· inherited disorder
· no cure
· A lot of research has been done on Tourette syndrome

National Institute of Health, Initials. (2010, February 10). Tourette syndrome fact sheet. Retrieved from

2. Title of Article: Tourette Syndrome

· neurological disorder characterized by multiple involuntary movements
· Both motor and vocal tics are present during the illness, although not always at the same time
· Occurs many times during the day
· In rare cases, people with TS may involuntarily shout obscenities or constantly repeat the words of other people
· can affect people of all racial and ethnic groups
· 200,000 Americans have TS
· Usually notice TS within the age group 6-8
· place individuals at higher risk for learning, behavioral, and social difficulties

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Initials. (2009, June 8). Tourette syndrome. Retrieved from

3. Title of Article:
Tics and Tourette syndrome in Children

· Tics are often worse when a person feels stressed, tired or anxious
· Come medicine can affect TS and make it worse
· Most tics go away after a few months
· sometimes a person will have 1 or 2 tics for many years
· Children who have Tourette syndrome usually have their worst symptoms when they are between 9 and 13 years of age.
· Over half of these children get much better during the teen years and in early adulthood. Less than half of the people who have Tourette syndrome as children have moderate to severe tics as adults.
· Not just one medicine can take care of all the symptoms of Tourette syndrome completely

Tics and tourette syndrome in children. (2010, February 10). Retrieved from
Brittany Stein’s Notes

Article #1 Title: Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet
Ø Defined as a neurological disorder with repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics
Ø The first symptoms of this disorder are discovered in childhood, between the ages of 7-10.
Ø Males are three to four times more likely to be affected than females.
Ø The worst symptoms occur in early teenage years, improve in late teen years, and continue into adulthood.
Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, . (2008, March). Tourette syndrome fact sheet. Retrieved from

Article #2 Title: Tourette Syndrome
Ø Motor tics are the involuntary movements that include the face and neck muscles. This includes: shoulder shrugging, eye blinking, and nose twitching. Other motions can occur including: arm thrusting, leg kicking, and jumping. These types of tics are classified as either simple or complex.
Ø Vocal tics are the most common symptom of this syndrome. These include: clearing the throat, sniffing your nose, grunting or barking to word verbalization and nonsensical sounds, and outbursts with obscene words. These types are also classified as either simple or complex.
Ø Only 15% of people with Tourette Syndrome have outburst with obscene words.
Ø Other symptoms associated with this syndrome include: obsession, compulsion, inattentive, hyperactive, impulsive, learning disabled and depressed
Source: Chudler, D. (2007, August 25). Tourette syndrome. Retrieved from

Article #3 Title: Treatment of Tourette’s Syndrome
Ø The majority of people with this disorder do not require medication because tics do not cause impairment.
Ø The most common form of medication to treat TS is Neuroleptics, such as haloperidol and pimozide. However, these medicines are found to have severe side effects.
Ø Psychotherapy has also been found to help people with TS because psychological problems have been found to develop.
Ø Students with TS in the classroom need each of their individualized needs to be met. Suggestions include: private study area, exams outside the regular classroom, oral exams when the child's symptoms interfere with his or her ability to write, and untimed testing .
Source: Dressler, Dirk. (2008, December 7). Treatment of Tourette's syndrome. Retrieved from

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