Students with Tourette's will have to face many pressures in school associated with tics--social
concerns, reactions, and associated learning difficulties. The teacher's response to these conditions
can make a critical difference!!
Following are some classroom suggestions when working with a
child who has Tourette's:
1. Keep in mind that motor or vocal tics are occurring involuntarily.
2. Try not to react with anger or annoyance.
3. Try to be a role model for the students on how to react to the Tourette's symptoms.
4. Provide the child with opportunities for short breaks out of the classroom.
5. Try to find a private place somewhere in the school where the child can "let out" the tics, since
the effort to suppress the tics causes a buildup of tension.
6. Allow the student to take tests in a private room so that he or she does not waste energy
suppressing the tics--interfering with the student's concentration.
7. Work with the student's classmates to help them understand the tics and to reduce, ridicule
8. Secure materials (e.g., audiovisuals or pamphlets to provide information for your pupils and
9. If the student's tics are particularly disruptive, avoid recitation in front of the class.
10. Have the student tape-record oral reports.
11. Keep in mind that students with Tourette's often have visual motor difficulties.
12. Modify written assignments by reducing the number of problems presented or required to copy.
13. Allow parents to copy down work so that the pupil can dictate his or her ideas to facilitate concept
14. Allow the student to write the answers directly on a test paper or booklet rather than use
computerized scoring sheets.
15. Allow the child un-timed tests to reduce stress.
16. Allow another child to take notes for the student so that she or he can listen to the lecture without
the added stress of copying notes
17. Try not to penalize for spelling errors.
18. Try to use a multi-sensory approach whenever possible.
19. Avoid multi-directions.
20. Use graph paper for math so that the student can place one number in each box.
Copyright 1995 by the Center for Applies Research in Education