Tourette's Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by tics - involuntary, rapid, sudden movements that occur repeatedly in the same way.  Tics are experienced as irresistible and, as the urge to sneeze, must eventually be performed.  Typically, tics increase as a result of tension or stress and decrease with relaxation or concentration on an absorbing task.

Characteristics of Tourette's Syndrome

  • Involuntarily blinking of eyes
  • Head jerking
  • Flailing of arms
  • Throat clearing
  • Vocalization of obscene words
  • Various tics
  • Ritualistic behaviors
  • The tics may come and go
  • Symptoms of Tourette's syndrome may change over time

Possible Accommodations

  • The student may need to use a recorder, laptop computer, or desktop computer for reading and writing problems.
  • Extended time exams may be necessary in a private room if vocal tics are a problem.
  • Permission for the student to leave the classroom when tics become overwhelming may help.
  • The student's movements and noises can be somewhat disruptive to the class.  Remember, they are occurring involuntarily - so do not react with anger or annoyance.