A student with TS in my classroom!

Hearing about a TS diagnostic can be scary. It’s important to understand that each individual living with TS is unique. Also, this symptom is expression depend on each individual and may fluctuate and very over time.

By definition, TS is a neurological disorder that is diagnosed based on the presence of more than one motor tic (simple or complex) and at least one vocal tic over a period of at least one year. Tics are not constant so they can fluctuate in time and in intensity depending on many factors. TS affects about 1 to 2% of the population and 3 to 4 times more boys than girls. However, TS does usually not come alone.  It often comes with many other troubles or difficulties such as ADHD, anxiety, rage episodes, OCD, dysfunction in sensory integration, learning disabilities and many others. To better illustrate this, we re-present TS as a sun. Many difficulties are not necessarily included but as each individual is unique, it is important to have the complete picture to be able to support, equip and secure the student.

When a student with TS feels accepted, welcomed and appreciated with its difficulties and challenges, many symptoms tend to considerably decrease. For example, the more you ask the person to stop the tic, the more the tic will be expressed; this will then create a lot of anxiety which in turn could trigger other problems.

Unfortunately, there is no magic formula that will work every time. It requires adjustments, on a case by case basis, depending on the main difficulties for the student, and in working as a team with the parents the various collaborators including external professionals. The more the team is strong and united, the more the various members of the team are informed on TS, the better the chances of success and positive inclusion. To this end the plan of intervention is often the best opportunity to bring together everyone’s knowledge and observations in order to offer a customized plan of action that will have the best chances to meet the objectives.

Documentation and available training!

Documentation and available training!

You will find various documents (books, texts, guides, PowerPoint documents, DVD, etc.) (link) it is also possible to contact us to learn more (requests by telephone) and even to receive customized training in the school, on demand, by contacting the Gen. Dir. of the Association directly. In addition, each year the Association offers a training for the parents and various collaborators on TS and its different aspects. You may consult the Activity section to learn when the next conference will be held. (link)

Documentation is also available (under tab …) for teachers and school intervention workers. Some may even be used directly with students (books, DVDs, PowerPoint).

You may find additional references to resources in English on the Tourette Association of Canada and the Tourette Association of America sites

Positive Strategies!

Other than tics, many other aspects complicate students’ daily lives and, consequently, the lives of others around them.  The student with TS and the many challenges that come with it will suffer and feel the injustice and rejection keenly.  A large proportion of children will suffer and feel distress from the related difficulties more than from the tics themselves.  Many will have tics that are hard to see while others have tics that are very apparent; some won’t be socially acceptable and others will hurt physically.

Tics will increase considerably between age 8 à 12, and many will see a decrease in the number of tics after that and in their early twenties.  But at any point in life, tics can surface, and will be more present during stressful times.  Also, there are many TS manifestations that are too often mistakenly identified as ‘’behaviour troubles’’.  To treat them as such may have heavy repercussions and a surge in problems, at school and at home.  With a student that becomes suddenly rude (impulsivity), who has inappropriate behaviours (disinhibition), who will become disorganised or oppositional, it is better to gain their trust, help them find and identify the trigger to these manifestations, while recognizing that they are symptoms of their discomfort and disorganisation.

It will ALWAYS be beneficial to find positive strategies to bring the student to progressively manage the explosive or inappropriate manifestations instead of forcing negative consequences, that will, in the end, only serve to multiply the inappropriate behaviours.



To help better understand TS, The AQST association as numerous reference and ressources!
Alim Dubic
29 ans | Montréal, QC

The faces of Tourette Syndrome

Many times, I thought to myself: “a good thing that the Association exists.” This Facebook where I can express my emotions, find support without judgement.

Suzanne Tremblay

58 ans | Québec, QC

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology, I started new studies in criminology. I am really happy in that field.

Jonathan Gagnon

26 ans | Joliette QC

«There is a strong need to talk about TS in a very just and specific way. People still have lots of preconceptions regarding this condition»

Diane Lemieux

42 ans | Gaspésie

Useful Resources