Dr. Ticcy is a pseudonym for the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada National Office, which draws on information from experts across Canada and beyond to answer questions from the TS community. Please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the salutation “Dear Dr. Ticcy.”
Dear Dr. Ticcy,
I have a question regarding play dates. When my son or daughter meets a new friend do I tell/warn the parent about my son or daughter’s TS?
Parent of a Child with TS
Dear Parent of a Child with TS,
Whether or not to disclose your son or daughter’s TS to the parent of a potential playmate or friend can be a tough decision.
It is also a decision that you must make, no one else can make it for you.
To help you decide, you might consider the following…
You need to weigh the pros and cons of disclosing.
An obvious con is that the parent might say that they no longer want their child to meet or play with yours. To this I ask, would you really want your child around a parent who would do that? Is this a real con?
A pro is that knowledge usually leads to understanding. In other words, a parent won’t interpret what your son or daughter does as intentional if they are told in advance that it is a symptom of a medical condition. If you choose not to let them know, they make not be familiar with TS and may assume that things your son or daughter does are deliberate rather than involuntary.
Flip the situation around, would you want to be told by the other parent? Why or why not?
If your child is old enough, talk to them about it and see how they feel.
If your child has little to no symptoms then disclosing may not be as important to you. The reverse is also true.
If your child can self-advocate, allow them to decide when and if they disclose to friends and families’ of friends.
The choice is ultimately yours and your son or daughter’s. There is no right or wrong answer. Make the choice that is best for you and your family!