My 9 year old son had his last day of school today and his report card came home with him today. When I read his report card I began to cry. This was his best report card ever and that filled me with mixed emotions. You see my son has Tourette’s syndrome and ADD. School has been a struggle for him for most of his life.
He is a very sweet and considerate and bright child. He never exhibited most of the behaviors his teachers would talk about at home. He could concentrate for hours building complex tracks out of his train sets or playing on his computer. At school he was restless. Impulsive, and when he didn’t agree with something or didn’t understand something he could become very agitated. Because he could focus on things at home I did not believe he had ADD. When he started making vocal noises we thought he had just formed some sort of bad habit. When he started moving his neck back and forth seemingly uncontrollably I took him to the doctor. He saw three different types of doctors before he was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome.
Tourette’s syndrome often accompanies ADD, OCD, or anxiety. It is likely that his need to do one of his ticks sort of consumes his mind until he does it. This can of course make it fairly hard to focus on things such as school work. There is no cure for Tourette’s it is a lifetime condition; there is treatment however.
When a child has a learning disorder they will often still go to a regular school but often concessions will be made for them. At least one parent will meet with a group of people from the child’s school, usually the school therapist, the child’s teacher, the Vice principle, and any special teachers who may work with your child on specific things.
My son had trouble with writing, and math. He spent time with a writing teacher once per week and was put in to a math class with just 2 other students. There are teachers and aids that can help a child with whatever their special needs are. Because he is easily distracted he is given extra time and a quiet area to do tests.
There are medications and behavioral techniques that can help children with Tourette’s and ADD lead a normal and more focused life. You should work closely with a neurologist who specializes in children. They can diagnose your child and put them on the proper treatment plan.
The best advice I can give is to be positive around your child and don’t give up on them.
For children with Tourette’s there are organizations you can join both on the state and national levels. For more information you can go to: http://tsa-usa.org/