Back to school time is rough for a parent of a Tourette Syndrome child

As a teacher, I love September. I love the smell of freshly polished wood floors. I love the feel of a new pen on the first page of a new notebook. I love the sounds of lockers slamming and kids laughing. It is my favorite time of year because it is so full of promise and excitement.

As a parent of a kid with Tourette Syndrome, however, I dread September. I dread the moans and groans of my child when I try to wake him up for school, knowing that he has every right to be grumpy because his tics kept him up late into the night. I dread the frantic phone calls to doctors to see if we can adjust his medication, because we still haven’t figured out what works. I dread the notes home from teachers explaining that my son had a hard time in school (again). It is a treacherous time of year for him and for me.

Before I became a parent of a special needs kid, I never fully appreciated how difficult school can be for some students. I give those students (and the families that support them) a lot of credit. So, good luck to you, TS families. Here’s hoping for a school year that is full of progress and understanding.


  1. @ Robyn – I was thinking of doing a “workshop” for my son’s class, but was worried that the kids were too little to understand (he’s in 1st grade). I think I’ll do it after reading your post, since it seems like your daughter is fairly young as well. Thanks for the inspiration!

    @ Andrea – We’re still negotiating the waters on tic management in school, as well. We’re hoping some CBT will help.

  2. I can totally sympathize w/you on this subject. I am also a Mother, to a TS child. My daughter is 8, her name is Bailee, & she has pretty severe TS Plus, & right now she is dealing w/about 3 new tics, that are the worst we have seen yet. We were scrambling right befor school started, to change her meds, in the hope that it would calm them some, but no such luck yet. But Bailee also has a lot of fear about going to school. She hates the stares & people pointing at her & asking her a lot of questions. What we have doneto try & help is, at the beggining of the school yr., the school counselor, myself & Bailee, go to her classroom & talk to the kids about TS, what it does to Bailee & what her tics are. Sometimes it helps a lot, & sometimes it doesn’t. So I totally can relate to your feelings. It is the most helpless feeling, as a Mother, I can think of, to not be able to fix it & take it all away. Good luck to you & your son!!

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